The Real Deal New York

NYC’s artists are running out of affordable studio space

Rising rents are increasingly driving artists into remote neighborhoods
March 08, 2014 04:00PM

 New York City artists are used to losing their studio space to the forces of gentrification, whether it be in Soho or Greenpoint. But with the redevelopment of Industry City in Sunset Park — an unglamorous Brooklyn factory, turned artists’ studio complex, turned Brooklyn Nets training facility – many displaced artists say that they can no longer find affordable studio space.

“All I can see is going further out, then having to move again,” Richard Castellana, a 73-year-old painter who has moved studios 10 times in 40 years, told the New York Times. “I just can’t take it anymore.”

Even the few hubs of affordable artistic activity left in the city — neighborhoods such as Mott Haven in the Bronx, Ridgewood in Queens and St. George on Staten Island — are beginning to feel the strain of rising rents. And artists report that landlords are increasing unwilling to grant short-term leases.

“Nobody has any hopes about being able to rent affordable spaces,” Tamara Zahaykevich, who helped start the Artist Studio Affordability Project, said. “On top of that, my community is so dispersed now.” [NYT]Christopher Cameron

  • cheap warehouses available

    Artists are the worst according to lawyers and property owners especially loft building owners because they pull dirty tricks that regular residential tenants might not necessarily pull – it’s weird because they cry poor but they are also kind of disdainful of everyone else so it is a weirdo combination. I had one who destroyed the new electrical outlets in the space she had at deep discount when she moved out just out of spite and meanness – we didn’t do anything to her except .. demand rent owed. We had videotaped the testing of each electrical socket before she took possession but we didn’t pursue it after she left and just had the licensed electrician return and repair the damage. They feel sorry ONLY for themselves, they desire to be RICH only for themselves but badmouth everyone else in the world who appears affluent because they MUST have done something wrong to be able to afford their trappings whereas their photographs and paint splatters are as noble as personally digging the Suez canal and as aristocratic as owning the Suez canal. It’s probably very unhealthy to believe that anyone actually paid as much as claimed for a shark in formaldehyde as to believe that someone got $17 million for their rent controlled apartment. That’s why it’s an “unnamed source.”

    I’m sticking with poster art all the way!

  • third party act of violence

    what defines an artist? Do they stop being artists after they become successful and can afford to leave NYC like Lena Dunham’s parents?

    When did it became a cause that “artists” had to get super cheap digs? Look at ABC NO RIO – who was the John Liu of the day back then? Where was the ombudsman? The city destroyed small owners with property taxes and rent regulations then instead of taking the building for the city and making money off of it because of course the city does not have to overcharge itself with taxes, it sells the building for a dollar.

    A DOLLAR. Because these were such better people than the landlord who lost the building, right? Why didn’t you sell it to the landlord for Two Dollars then? Because he’s evil, right?

  • Westchester Realtor

    A good read but with some examples of prices and rents would have been more useful and really see if true. Are we talking 500 dollars or 2500 a month. Is the artist unable to pay and a lot of artists or charging a heck of a lot for their works. Considering you can take a train to Westchester for thirty minutes there are plenty of spots in mt Vernon and Yonkers

  • designenvelope


    The loft was a fantastic live/work space for real artists back when they
    were very inexpensive. Today lofts are ideal for movie stars, lawyers
    and high tech moguls, but far too expensive for most artists. Another
    trend is the desire of many creative people to get closer to the natural

    The “Micro Coach House” designed by William Edward Summers is a tiny
    house and artists work space rolled into one. It is very inexpensive to
    build, probably less than a nice new car, and offers tremendous
    flexibility. This is the perfect cottage for that lot in Maine, Arizona,
    or Northern California.

    Summers is offering free architectural plans of this versatile live/work
    option. You may use the material for editorial ideas or publication with
    attribution. William Edward Summers retains all copyrights.

    What could you do with a space like this ?

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