As artists and creative types continue to move into new areas of Brooklyn, the types of commercial buildings subject to residential conversion under an expanded Loft Law are also changing — and that has meant more tenants coming under the protection of the law, the New York Times reported.
The Loft Law was originally created to protect artists who had taken up residence in the city’s commercial buildings, mostly in Soho and Chelsea, between 1980 and 1981. In 2010, the law was expanded to include those who were living in commercial spaces at the end of the last decade, which meant that artists in more recently gentrifying areas like Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Dumbo and Bushwick could take advantage of the law.
But the the building stock in these Brooklyn neighborhoods is different than what the law originally covered: large factories colonized by dozens of residents, compared to small cast-iron warehouses with a handful of apartments, Chuck DeLaney, tenant representative on the Loft Board, which adjudicates Loft Law disputes, told the Times.
One example is 135 Plymouth Street, a nearly 200,000-square-foot former machinery factory in Dumbo. Hailed as the “original art commune,” its tenants are among the residents of more than 100 buildings that have applied for protection under the new Loft Law since 2010.