Gulfshore Playhouse plans to build state-of-the-art theater and education complex

From Naples Daily News

In this file photo, general technician intern Megan Navia works the lighting board during the Gulfshore Playhouse's tech rehearsal of the play "The Who and the What?" at the Norris Community Center in Naples in April 2016. Gulfshore Playhouse plans to build a state-of-the-art theater and education complex in downtown Naples.
In this file photo, general technician intern Megan Navia works the lighting board during the Gulfshore Playhouse’s tech rehearsal of the play “The Who and the What?” at the Norris Community Center in Naples in April 2016. Gulfshore Playhouse plans to build a state-of-the-art theater and education complex in downtown Naples. (Photo: Gregg Pachkowski/Special to the Daily News)

Gulfshore Playhouse plans to build a state-of-the-art theater and education complex in Naples.

The not-for-profit professional theater group announced Tuesday it has signed a purchase agreement for three acres of land at the corner of Goodlette-Frank Road and First Avenue South for the multimillion-dollar project.

The land is within the borders of Naples Square, a mixed-use project that’s under development by The Ronto Group in partnership with Wheelock Street Capital.

The land purchase is expected to close in mid-August.

With the new theater Gulfshore Playhouse will be able to produce a broader season, with more musicals, new works and content created for Broadway.

The project is possible because of a $10 million donation from well-known Naples philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker, who are longtime supporters of Gulfshore Playhouse.

After the land purchase closes, Gulfshore Playhouse expects to launch a fundraising campaign to help get the rest of the dollars needed for construction, as well as money to partially cover the first year of operations.

The cost to build the project is estimated at $45 million, including the land, said Kristen Coury, the theater group’s founder and producing artistic director.