For years, the Irish Arts Center, founded in 1972, has operated from a cramped tenement on West 51st Street, but soon the institution will have a new home seven times the size of its current location. The Times reports that the IAC will be taking over a two-story tire shop on 11th Avenue, just around the corner from where it currently operates, and adding five stories to increase the size of the IAC from 5,000-square-feet to 35,000-square-feet. The new $54 million arts space will have a 199-seat theater, and 80 to 90-seat cafe, and a dance studio that doubles as an event space. Ciaran O'Connor, the chief state architect for Ireland's Office of Public Works, is the project's lead architect, and he's working with architect of record Davis Brody Bond and project manager Jonathan Rose Companies.
Property Shark shows that the building sits on the same lot as IAC's current address, and the Times notes that the new building will connect to the current structure, which will continue to host the center's classes. Ground should break on the new building next March, and it should be opened for business by the end of 2016.