Mayor De Blasio isn’t the only one pushing workspace for artists — it’s also being added by at least one private developer. Gene Kaufman — an architect better known for his controversial hotels — has designed a mixed-use studio building in East Williamsburg that will open in fall of 2016.
Developer Vlat LLC just started construction of 100 Bogart Street, according to a press release that quotes the architect: “This project reverses the all-too-familiar cycle of artists’ rescuing a neighborhood only to be pushed out, victims of their own success,” Kaufman says. “By making the creative community an integral part of the long-term plan for the area and recognizing their value as a built-in economic generator, projects like this are changing the nature of urban transformation in New York City.”
The six-story, 56,000-square-foot building, which features a concrete exterior meant to evoke a “timelessness and industrial character that reflects the surrounding area,” will be set back in order to maximize interior light. The layout calls for 50 to 60 studios, though Vlat expects two or three times that number of artists and artisans to be working in the building. Among the interior touches are heavy floor loads, extra-large elevator bays, and strategically placed stairs. There will also be 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
It’s uncertain how the units will be priced.
Yesterday, in a separate announcement, Mayor De Blasio stressed the importance of creating affordable workspaces for artists and revealed that the city aims to build 1,500 live-work units for them by 2024, as well as 500 affordable dedicated workspaces.
According to WNYC, the live-work spaces will include public gallery and performance spaces. Request-for-proposals will go out by the end of the year. The dedicated work spaces, the locations of which will also be announced by year’s end, will incorporate shared community space.