Developer terminates Gowanus music rehearsal studio’s lease

Eli Hamway acquired ground lease on 94 Ninth Street, two adjacent buildings for $21M last year

94 Ninth Street
94 Ninth Street in Gowanus

Call it the day the music died. New York City musicians have been left to find new practice spaces after developer Eli Hamway terminated a Gowanus rehearsal studio’s lease.

Flood Music Studios notified the musicians that rent its practice spaces last week that the studio will close in late April after 13 years at 94 9th Street in Gowanus. The building is one of three adjacent properties, including 98 9th StreetAnd 75 10th Street, which Hamway ground leased for $21.2 million in April 2015.

All three buildings leased by Hamway serve as studios for working artists, some of whom are quite well known – such as Brooklyn experimental rock outfit Yeasayer, which is releasing a new album this week ahead of an international tour, according to DNAinfo.

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Roughly 40 bands use Flood Music Studios’ Gowanus space; the company also operates rehearsal facilities in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Hamway’s plans for the Gowanus buildings are not yet clear, though the developer recently acquired the historic Slave Theater in Bedford-Stuyvesant — a contentious deal in its own right — and is involved in condo projects in Williamsburg and Prospect Heights. The properties are in a manufacturing zoned district, however, meaning new residential development is prohibited, DNAinfo reported.

Jenny Dubnau, who works with the Artist Studio Affordability Project, speculated that Hamway would look to refurbish the studio spaces and rent them to higher paying commercial tenants — such as those in the “creative tech” sector who are increasingly looking to outer borough neighborhoods like Gowanus for their work space.

“It’s really putting bands in a tough place to get out in only a month,” said Charlie Schine of the band Yabadum, which rented space at Flood Music Studios. “It’s just another step in Gowanus becoming a bougie place to live instead of an industrial space for artists.” [DNAinfo]Rey Mashayekhi