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Skrappy’s may return downtown next week

Citizen Staff Writer



Skrappy’s, a club for teens, will be revived in its third downtown incarnation, possibly as early as next week.

Skrappy’s will become a neighbor and collaborator with the Museum of Contemporary Art.

It will occupy the white warehouse at 191 E. Toole Ave. adjoining the blue warehouse occupied by MOCA offices and artists in residents. MOCA leases both warehouses from the city.

“For now, it will be the after-school program we’ve done in the past,” said Victor Quiros, community services manager for Our Family Services. The nonprofit offers the Skrappy’s program, which gives youths a chance to socialize and enjoy the arts in a drug- and alcohol-free environment.

Occupancy will be limited to 49 people in a portion of the building until the warehouse is brought up to building code.

“We’re looking at the possibility of turning it into a permanent location,” Quiros said. “It’s hard to tell at this time (when Skrappy’s can fully occupy the warehouse).”

The new Skrappy’s home came about because of a pledge by the Downtown Tucson Development Co. as it seeks a 20-year development agreement with the city to redevelop up to 75 acres in the eastern portions of downtown stretching from Sixth Street to Armory Park.

The company pledged $250,000 to Skrappy’s over five years in rent abatement or space improvement. The rent ended up minimal: $1.03 per month.

“We have found the location (for Skrappy’s) and we’re spending $50,000 this year to fix up that space,” said Jim Campbell, the company’s manager.

Kids at Skrappy’s will interact with the 26 MOCA artists in residence next door, said Anne-Marie Russell, MOCA’s executive director.

Skrappy’s, founded in 1996, had become a popular youth facility, especially with the concerts staged at its longtime home in the former Continental Trailways bus depot, 201 E. Broadway. But Skrappy’s has operated in scaled-down fashion or not at all since its eviction from the former Broadway Volvo dealership building at the end of July 2007.

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