New Helvetia Theatre closes as R Street changes

The curtain has closed on New Helvetia Theatre Co.

The six-year-old theater company can’t afford to stay at its current location at 11th and R Streets—the building was purchased by the Cordano development company last fall. Artistic director Connor Mickiewicz made the announcement on Facebook over the weekend:

New Helvetia Theatre regrets to inform you that there will be no productions scheduled in the near future. Being priced out of our current venue by new ownership, we have to focus our time and energy figuring out what the next step is and what is possible.

We here at SN&R love to speculate about changes downtown and soaring rents thanks to the arena. But perhaps we should be more carefully watching changes on the R Street Corridor thanks to the Warehouse Artist Lofts, located just across the street from New Helvetia.

WAL is providing housing to creatives who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford it. Yet it’s this very influx of people that has developers scrambling over R Street and raising rents. We’ve chatted with a few local small business owners—and hopeful business owners—looking to get in on the action. They say they’re encountering much higher prices than they had ever expected.

Are casualties required when revitalizing a neighborhood?

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