Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Artists Alley in Delray Beach back in the news

The Artists Alley in Delray Beach is a hugely popular venue for artists and their admirers. As is so often the case artists will occupy a space, make that space popular and exciting, and when market forces take control the costs go up and the artists, in many cases, are forced to find another space to do their work.

In October 2014 the Delray Beach City Commission heard about this situation (see video below) and were cautioned about a city in Palm Beach County that was working very hard to attract artists: Lake Worth. The city of Delray Beach, their CRA, and many others are working very hard to save the Artists Alley and soon we'll learn what the future of that venue will be. When that news becomes available I'll provide an update here on this blog.

The most recent news is from Rich Pollack at The Coastal Star with this article titled, "Delray Beach: Is a renaissance in the making for Artists Alley?"
The artists who remain in Artists Alley are waiting.
     With their galleries and studios open for the monthly Third Thursday event that in the past drew many visitors, artists who have not left — due to higher rents — are waiting for customers.
     They’re also waiting for news from Delray Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency — meeting just across town at City Hall — to hear if it will move forward with stalled plans to transform a nearby 15,000-square-foot warehouse at the south end of the district into an arts incubator.
[and. . .]
     And they’re waiting to see if an ambitious private/public venture, unveiled that same night before the CRA board, will transform the small colony, adding lofts and studio space for artists as well as a 250-seat performance space, townhomes, restaurants and retail space.
     That idea for the proposed multi-use art-centric project — dubbed Artist Alley — was conceived by attorney Joe White, who purchased the row of one-bay warehouses for $4.5 million in a June bankruptcy proceeding.
     But subsequent rent increases — doubling in some cases — spawned a migration of several artists away from the colony, which in its heyday was home for as many as 30 artists and sculptors. [emphasis added]
Below is a YouTube video from October 2014 referenced above. The entire video is very interesting. Many in the City of Lake Worth working to reclaim the blighted and neglected areas in our City will find the segment from the 6:30 mark to 7:10 very compelling and also encouraging.