The New York Community Trust earmarked $216,000 this month to repurpose vacancies on Governors Island and the Brooklyn Army Terminal as affordable studio and rehearsal space for artists, the Village Voice reported.
The money will be used by the Department of Cultural Affairs to refurbish some 85,000 square feet of space. It’s the initial step in what’s expected to be a far-reaching program, first proposed in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s State of the City address in January.
Once refurbished, the spaces will be rented out as 300 studios at below-market rates by Spaceworks, a real estate firm.
“As [New York] becomes more expensive, artists are an important driver of our economy and our sense of place,” said Kerry McCarthy, program officer with the New York Community Trust. “We need to make the city a place where they can afford to live and work.”