In wake of Oakland fire, artists forced to move out of Fashion District gallery

Los Angeles /
Mar.March 21, 2017 03:16 PM

The Oakland warehouse fire that killed 36 people at the Ghost Ship artist colony is having an impact on commercial spaces in Los Angeles.

Think Tank Gallery in the Fashion District was once home to 17 artists but all of them moved out following citations from city officials, which were part of an increased effort to ensure all properties are permitted for their uses. Now, the future of the gallery is uncertain, L.A. Weekly reported.

The gallery was illegally housing artists inside its warehouse space at 939 Maple Avenue and city officials finally cracked down on the building owners this year.

Jacob Patterson, Think Tank Gallery’s executive director, maintained the building was safe, especially compared with similar spaces in the city. And unlike Oakland’s Ghost Ship, its warehouse does have sprinklers, exit signs and fire extinguishers.

Owner John Kennamann hired a land-use management company to obtain a certificate of occupancy when the building was first cited in October 2015, but found the process difficult and expensive, according to L.A. Weekly.

The gallery was cited a second time early this year and the property owners had until February 13 to acquire a certificate of occupancy or have residents removed under threat of a criminal charges. All of the artists moved out by the end of the month.

Think Tank said it will need to raise its event prices to help pay off the sublease now that it is resident-free. Kennamann has converted the building into an event-only space under the name 939 Studio but is still unsure whether it will be enough to keep the company in business. It currently has 6,500 square feet of event space. As for Think Tank, it doesn’t have a physical space but is now a “roadshow,” according to its website.

More crackdowns are likely to follow since L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer assembled a warehouse task force along with building safety officials following the Oakland fire to aggressively monitor illegal-use commercial spaces. [LAW] — Subrina Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The future of San Francisco’s Oceanwide Center is up in the air again (Getty, Foster and Partners)

Contractors pull out as Oceanwide Center sale falls through again

Contractors pull out as Oceanwide Center sale falls through again
Granite CEO Michael Dardick and Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari

Industrious partners with landlords to offer tenants satellite workplaces

Industrious partners with landlords to offer tenants satellite workplaces
Colorado Campus at 2041-2115 Colorado Avenue and Northwestern Mutual CEO John E. Schlifske

Northwestern Mutual picks up Santa Monica office campus for $166M

Northwestern Mutual picks up Santa Monica office campus for $166M
Prop 15 property tax measure draws millions (Credit: iStock)

Prop 15 property tax measure draws millions of dollars from for and against campaigns

Prop 15 property tax measure draws millions of dollars from for and against campaigns
California is allowing barbershops and salons to reopen under new coronavirus mitigation guidelines (Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images)

California allows barbershops to reopen, but LA holds back

California allows barbershops to reopen, but LA holds back
LA County assessor Jeffrey Prang

LA County properties valued at nearly $2 trillion…before pandemic

LA County properties valued at nearly $2 trillion…before pandemic
Los Angeles apartments (Credit: iStock)

Expanded unemployment has kept California renters afloat. But that’s set to expire

Expanded unemployment has kept California renters afloat. But that’s set to expire
A rendering of Times Mirror Square

Onni Group’s Times Mirror Square project clears major hurdle

Onni Group’s Times Mirror Square project clears major hurdle
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...