Finalists due for WTC arts space

Model for three-theater complex to be unveiled in late Jan.

The American National Theater wasn’t remembered in many year-end theater roundups, but it sure spilled a lot of ink earlier in 2003, when a bid for inclusion in the World Trade Center redevelopment plans was unveiled.

The project is about to resurface. In January, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., together with the city and state of New York, announces its finalists for the cultural space at the site of the World Trade Center. (A spokesperson for LMDC calls this process “setting forth the criteria.”)

Back in September, 112 arts orgs submitted building proposals, ANT and New York City Opera among them. Since then, architect Richard Olcott of Polshek Partnership has been at work on a model for ANT’s three-theater complex, which will be unveiled either Jan. 20 or 22.

Polshek recently finished work on Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and Manhattan Theater Club’s renovation of the Biltmore Theater. Cost of the ANT project remains at around $200 million, but its space configurations have been upped to seating capacities of 400, 700 and 1,000.

Also new, Olcott has kept his ANT design flexible and not site-specific to WTC.

“We go ahead no matter what,” says ANT prexy Sean Cullen.

According to sources, the early new year also should bring announcements regarding the 37th West arts project and the Dodgers’ new theaters at World Wide Plaza.

Several Off Broadway spaces may be currently dark, but the theater-building biz is booming.

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