Such is the problem facing painters, potters, glass-blowers and others who work in the industrial environs of
For many years, this area south of
Now it's home to a renowned glass artist, a microbrewery, a much-anticipated soul food eatery and a monthly vintage market, among the neighborhood's other attractions.
It has a name, the
That's why members of the district are coming together to buy a 50,000-square-foot complex of old warehouse space along the
Their nonprofit group has a contract to buy the
They envision making renovated, air-conditioned art studios in half the space, alongside other creative ventures such as a small business incubator, recording studio, restaurant and possibly a brew pub.
"We're going to try to really create an artist community here that generates a buzz, where people can work together, they can consult with their peers, they can share ideas, they can share resources," Aeling said.
The group is trying to raise
They will thoroughly inspect the 60-year-old property and crunch numbers during the next six months.
If all goes well, the group could have studios up and running by next fall, Aeling said.
Redevelopment in this industrial corridor just west of downtown has sped up rapidly in the past year after decades of decline.
While there's still plenty of empty space, including a 14-acre lot across from Sylvia's Queen of Soul Food restaurant at
"We've got a lot of flowers blooming along the corridor there," said
Just south of the arts district,
Rodgers recently left the Five Deuces Galleria on
"What we do for a living, we need a lot of space and it's got to be cheap and where we can make a mess," said Rodgers.
"So we tend to go into depressed areas like a warehouse arts district and turn it around, but it won't be long before we can't afford to be there."
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