Playhouse draft lease to be presented to selectmen Wednesday night

A draft lease between the town and the Ridgefield Playhouse would bring the town about $103,000 a year — $68,000 a year in rent, and $35,000 in utility charges.

The proposed lease is on the Board of Selectmen’s agenda “for presentation and discussion” Wednesday night, Oct. 24.

“They’ll have it — it’s a draft,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.

The Playhouse organization would continue its $1-a-year rental of the old high school auditorium that’s the venue where it stages shows, along with a backstage space and an adjacent first-floor concession area.

In addition to the $1-a-year rent, there would be a utility charge — on a rising scale from $2.05 per square foot in 2018 to $4,36 per square foot by the lease’s end n 2037 — expected to bring the town $34,900 or more a year to cover heat and electricity for the 17,045-square-foot space.

The proposed lease also envisions the Playhouse eventually paying the town another $68,100 in rent for the second floor Venus Building space currently occupied by Board of Education offices. The school offices are expected to move to the first floor of the south wing of the Venus building — the former RVNA area — freeing up the area they currently occupy near the Playhouse.

The second floor of the Venus Building’s south wing, about 8,000 square feet, has been rented to Chefs’ Warehouse. That lease was approved by the selectmen Sept. 26.

Chefs’ Warehouse will have occupancy of virtually the entire second floor of the Venus Building — about 29,000 square feet — for rent that rises from $496,000 to about $526,000 a year.