Eastside Culture Crawl considering operating 25,000 square feet of artist studios
The Vancouver Eastside Culture Crawl has launched the first step toward operating a 25,000-square-foot artist studio space in a new Strathcona development.
The Culture Crawl announced today that it was issuing a Request for Proposals for a study to investigate the creation of the studio space in a new mixed-use building being developed by Wall Financial Group at 955 East Hastings.
The development proposal is for 10 to 12 storeys which will include 282 market units and 70 non-market units, as well as commercial and industrial use on street level and below.
“We’re looking for proposals from consultants to evaluate the financial feasibility or the financial implications of developing that space for ourselves, and operating it as non-profit artist studio space, and also to look at what governance models we would need to put in place,” explained Culture Crawl executive director Jeffrey Boone, by phone. “We would then enter negotiations for a lease or purchase or a lease-to-own arrangement. Once we know what would be involved, we’ll decide what path we want to pursue.”
Boone commended Wall Financial Group for encouraging the studio development, as well as on the city. “They [Wall Financial] are very excited about providing an opportunity for artist studio space in the neighbourhood,” he said. “As they’re developing in the neighbourhood they know that it impacts real-estate prices and they want to have a positive affect on that. They’re amazingly supportive, as is the City of Vancouver.… This is one of the prime examples of how progressive the City of Vancouver is in dealing with developers and working with them.”
Boone noted that the size of the area that would be devoted to artist studios is almost on par with the Mergatroid building at 975 Vernon Drive, which encompass about 30,000 square feet. “It’s a significant amount [of studio space],” he said.
The RFP closes June 15, and Boone said he hoped the study would be completed by the end of the year.