With its 40th anniversary approaching, the Groundlings Theatre & School has purchased a building across the street from its Melrose Avenue headquarters for use as a classroom.
The nonprofit improvisation and sketch comedy troupe and school has launched the careers of hundreds of comedians and writers, including Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig and Lisa Kudrow.
The Groundlings bought a two-story brick building at 7280 Melrose Ave. that contains 5,000 square feet of space, according to real estate brokerage Studley.
In May, the Groundlings organization will begin celebrating its 40th anniversary with performances by its main company, renowned alumni and special guests. All funds raised from the shows will go toward renovating the newly purchased property to accommodate additional classroom space and training facilities. It is scheduled to open in 2015.
"This purchase feels strategic, timely and, frankly, historic," said Groundlings Managing Director Heather de Michele. "We've been looking toward our 40th anniversary as a time to celebrate the talented people we've served over the years and invest in our future."
A limited liability company called Fritag Melrose sold the building to the Groundlings for more than $3.1 million, according to real estate data provider Dataquick.
The Groundlings' "board, supporters, and participants were very excited about the property's prominent corner location, which offers an excellent opportunity for signage and branding and — this is no joke — some on-site parking," said real state broker Jon Azulay of Studley.