ODC Has Room to Grow. (Presstime News)

Article excerpt

Growing families often need more space. Dance families are no different. The question for ODC/San Francisco, which celebrated its thirtieth birthday last year and has owned its home almost since the beginning, was: Move or expand? Over the years ODC has built up a variety of offerings. There's a modern dance training program for children; the ODC Theater, which presents more than 200 dance, music and theater programs a year; several annual residency programs for choreographers; and mentoring programs for beginning and intermediate choreographers, in addition to a slew of daily dance classes. In other words, ODC has become an institution and needs more space to accommodate all it has to offer.

After ODC's attempt to buy the building next door fell through last year, a kindly neighbor pointed out two contiguous two-story buildings on 351 and 363 Shotwell Street, around the corner from the company's current home. The larger one, built in the teens of the last century, had housed a laundry, with a mattress factory in the smaller one. Finally the two together had held a car body shop. Now they were empty.

ODC plunged in and bought the structures for $1.47 million, the purchase price being guaranteed by a small group of ODC patrons. Escrow closed in March; remodeling begins this summer. …