9/04/2007

Huh?

First one in the local 'sphere to be writing and tracking Artspace, ever since December 2004. Huge fan. Yet, I'm increasingly concerned about a few things, that came in to focus this afternoon.

Last evening fixBuffalo fan tipped me off to a Craigslist add for rentals here at Artspace, when I went to show that this afternoon, it had been pulled. Then, I started paying more attention to the comment stream from a recent Artspace post - Behind Main Street - from a few weeks back. Especially these two comments here and here.

Later this afternoon and talking with a few people about what this might mean, I was directed to a short article in the Hartford Courant - Artist Housing Threatened - from last week.

One of the effective tools for reviving cities has been the use of subsidized housing for artists. Unfortunately, that tool is now threatened.

Mimicking the movement of artists to neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village in years past, federally subsidized artist housing is helping revive three dozen cities in 19 states, including four ArtSpace projects in Connecticut.

The projects bring stimulating and diverse "creative class" talent to downtowns, preserve historic buildings, anchor or augment urban arts districts, and provide useful space for art and community activities.

However, this positive experiment in urban revival is in danger, thanks to a recent wrongheaded ruling by the IRS read the rest...
And the case appears to rest on this...
The IRS said ArtSpace violated a rule against renting units to a "social organization," making them unavailable to the general public.
Meanwhile the construction delays on Main Street are mounting and hearing that there is now growing concern amongst investors regarding their investment, as well.
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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The ArtSpace projects they are talking about in that article are not from the same ArtSpace organization as the one in Minneapolis that is building the one in Buffalo. I don't know if that makes a difference, but maybe they are set up differently? In the past, courts in NYC have ruled that an artist preference in housing is permitted.

Could you elaborate more on the construction delays and concerns? It's been difficult to get a straight answer out of anyone. Is the project no longer a priority because the building is a lower-income project? Winter will be here before too long. I have a friend who has stopped by a couple times in the last few weeks, and she said that it doesn't look like any progress has been made. She also said no one is working on it when she goes by in the early afternoon. It seems that if there are units filled, or a desire to move in, it would behoove them to finish the project and begin collecting rents.

Jefferson said...

According to the Belmont flyer posted at the other site, one has to be "involved in or committed to the arts" in addition to Section 8 qualified to be eligible to live in ArtSpace. What should be of more concern is the unfinished state of the place and the lack of seeing any work going on. Has anyone moved in yet?

Eric said...

I don't see how that "social organization" designation could possibly hold up. Title 6 says you can't discriminate on many bases, but "artistic talent" is not one of them.

Who keeps the IRS in check?

MJ said...

Great idea. Next let's make sure that any student can get into performing arts. Nothing should be specialized to create a concentrated dynamic effort where people of a certain interest can grow with each other and hopefully do something for the area.

It's not like it is catering to a race, religion, age, sex, or political group. Where does the nonsense end? When we can manage to get out of our own way and get a part of the gov't to help, you can usually count on some other aspect of the gov't to get in the way for us.

Michele J said...

www.belmontshleter.org under managed by Belmont lists Artspace units for rent

Michele J said...

oops its www. Belmont shelter.org

Anonymous said...

ugh, shoulda' figured the poverty pimps would try and push their agenda on a project that will actually do something positive for the east side of main...