The city of Phoenix has bought a former furniture store building across the street from the Phoenix Art Museum for use by the Arizona Opera.

The former Walsh Brothers building on Central Avenue just north of McDowell Road was bought for nearly $1.8 million using cultural bond fund approved by voters in 2006.

City grant services director Dwight Walth says bond money will also pay for about 1.4 million in renovations.

The opera was founded in Tucson in 1971 and split its operations between Tucson and Phoenix.

The opera has been consolidating its operations since last year in Phoenix.

The new building will house rehearsal space, administrative offices, costume, wig and makeup shop and performance space for smaller opera and theater works.

The city will retain ownership of the building.

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