Here’s an update on the rumors I heard last month about the Charleston Ballet Theatre moving from its King Street studios and Redux Contemporary Art Center moving from St. Philip Street. First, CBT isn’t moving. And second, Redux isn’t moving.

Not yet, anyway.

According to Chris Price of PrimeSouth Bank, which owns each property, the leases for the arts organizations are currently in effect. The terms of CBT’s lease run through the end of this year with a provision for possible extensions. According to Seth Curcio, of Redux, the center’s lease runs through the end of 2009. That contract has the possibility of a one-year extension.

That’s the short term. The long term, however, is less clear.

In the next three to five years, PrimeSouth plans to redevelop a two-acre half block between King and St. Philip streets and Morris and Radcliffe streets. In other words, PrimeSouth plans to redevelop the current homes of CBT and Redux somewhere between the years 2011 and 2013 — by the end of Redux’s current lease after you include the one-year extension.

“We are hard at work trying to find a fitting new location. I think we have the support to make it happen,” Curcio told me.

The plans, which Price said have not been brought before the city’s planning department yet, will feature mixed-use properties — retail, office space, and hospitality. Price said PrimeSouth values the arts, as evidenced by PrimeSouth currently offering CBT a discount on its King Street location that’s around 60 percent of the market value. Due to this attitude, Price said that there have been discussions to include Redux and CBT in the redevelopment plans.

But nothing is certain. Redux’s and CBT’s inclusion in PrimeSouth’s plans would be “contingent on their commitment to greater funding,” Price said. In other words, they’d need to raise more money. —John Stoehr


I took a tour of MUSC’s new hospital, the Ashley River Tower, late last month. It’s an impressive feat of architecture, but it’s also a repository of contemporary S.C. art. Throughout 641,000 square feet are 873 works of art by 54 S.C. artists in a variety of media. MUSC’s decision to invest in the arts is part of a national trend toward bringing arts and medicine closer together.

“Art is an important element in healing,” said MUSC President Ray Greenberg in a press release issued Jan. 23. —JS