Teatro Zinzanni property sold; future uncertain

by: BY MIKE LEWIS, KIRO Radio Reporter Updated:

Teatro-Zinzanni is closing. (Christopher Carfi, Flickr)
Christopher Carfi, Flickr

SEATTLE - The future location of Seattle’s popular Teatro Zinzanni might be in question after its Mercer Street property was recently sold to developers.

City and state records show that the nonprofit Seattle Opera recently entered into a contract to sell the parcel on the 200 block of Mercer to 225 Roy LLC, which in turn is owned by Washington Holdings, a Seattle-based real estate development company.

Both Aiden Lang, general director of the Seattle Opera and Craig Wrench, President and CEO Washington Holdings, confirmed the pending sale. But given that the deal remains in escrow until Feb. 28, neither would talk about the sale or about the future of the land’s primary tenant, Teatro Zinzanni.

Before declining further comment, Lang said only, “I have no idea what (Washington Holdings) plans on doing with the property.”

Washington Holdings, which has offices in 16 U.S. cities, on its website describes its business model as, “We acquire and invest in land that has strong, fundamental commercial or residential potential.”

The future of Teatro Zinzanni?

Zinzanni, which did its first performance in Seattle in 1998, has been described as “Cirque Du Soleil meets the Moulin Rouge.” Zinzanni’s circus-meets-dinner-theatre show grew from a handful of performances 19 years ago into a semi-permanent tent in Belltown and then to a building on Mercer Street near Seattle Center in 2007.

The move from Belltown to Queen Anne nine years ago was prompted by the sale of its leased land to a developer.

Neither Zinzanni’s Markus Kunz, the executive director or Annie Jamison, the theater’s executive producer, returned calls seeking comment.

In 2000, the Kreielsheimer Foundation donated the parcel to the Seattle Opera (which, in turn, leased a portion of it to Zinzanni). The land was earmarked as a new home to the opera or as a potential sale to raise money for the nonprofit. When the Seattle Opera decided to restore the Mercer Arena last year, the land was put up for sale.

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