Developers launch artist-in-residence programs to lure cool crowd

Perks often include cheap or even free rent

Apr.April 12, 2017 03:52 PM
Matt Perrin, Inside Olive DTLA (Wolff Company/Olive DTLA)

Real estate developers are offering artists cheap — and even free — rent to help bring in the type of crowd that will make its development more hip.

As residential construction continues its upward trajectory in Downtown Los Angeles, many developers are competing for a limited pool of young and monied artsy types looking to live in an urban environment.

Developer Wolff Company launched an artist-in-residence program last month at its new 293-unit mixed-use project Olive DTLA, offering selected artists a two-story, rent-free loft during a six-month residency, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Asking rents for the building at 1243 S. Olive Street range from $2,000 to $4,100 a month.

The program offers artists a monthly showcase exhibit in the buildings communal spaces, interior and exterior wall opportunities to showcase work and a monthly allowance for art supplies. The winning artist will be named next month.

Matt Perrin, executive vice president of asset management at Wolff, said art in public spaces is common in downtown and its program was an opportunity to celebrate and contribute to the area’s art scene.

Wolff is just one of several developers using an artist-in-residence program to woo creatives into its building, according to the WSJ.

For example, Magellan Development Group in Chicago announced an artist-in-residence contest at its SoBro rental building in Nashville and Exhibit on Superior in Chicago earlier this year. Both projects sit in cities known for its artistic offerings.

The winner will get free rent for a year in either a studio or one bedroom, valued at $1,850 at the SoBro and $2,200 a month at the Exhibit. [WSJ]Subrina Hudson

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