After over a decade of leasing a former garage on Grant Street, local theater troupe MadLab will soon have a Downtown space to call its own. Managing director Andy Batt announced this week that the company has purchased a property at 227 N. Third St., just north of Spring.

After over a decade of leasing a former garage on Grant Street, local theater troupe MadLab will soon have a Downtown space to call its own. Managing director Andy Batt announced this week that the company has purchased a property at 227 N. Third St., just north of Spring.

As Batt pointed out, this makes MadLab part of a very rare breed: Columbus performing arts groups who own their own space. The move was necessitated by a change in the ownership of their current location and adjacent buildings last April.

Batt recalled that in May, realtor Randy Walker, representing the property buyers, told him, "If you're looking for a long-term home, look somewhere else." Taking Walker to his word, the company quickly sought out a new location, soon found the Third Street space and have spent the months since closing the deal.

The move will take them from one converted garage to another, but with an additional 1,300 square feet to work with, and a lot more traffic passing by to notice. MadLab will be able to continue its gallery shows and move its scene shop on site. Visitors will also benefit directly from the upgrade, via men's and women's rooms with multiple stalls, a vast improvement from MadLab's current bathroom setup.

"We're going to turn our 10-minute intermissions into actual 10-minute intermissions," Batt said with a laugh.

The company will continue performances in its current space through Feb. 13, closing with the time-sensitive play competition "12 Hour Theatre Production." The new building is scheduled to open in mid-March with The Kill 'Em with Kindness Comedy Festival.

In the meantime, renovations will get underway in the new year, and MadLab is soliciting funds and volunteer hours to get the job done. For more info, visit madlab.net.