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Re: New York Times: Arts Developers, Now Hear This
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Here is what www.curbed.com said for a link to this article:

"Another story aimed at luring artsy hipsters to Jersey City, where they will be bound and burned upon arrival and turned into fuel for the big, scary machine that makes New Jersey the soul-sucking force that it is."

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Here are some of the "curbed" comments:
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No smoking in your own condo, 1200 psf in the east village, but new jersey is soul sucking. i live in nyc but am amazed that people still think of this place as a culturally rich, tough, and full of individuals.
--- left at 02/11/08 09:15 AM.
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This is what you people get. You can't come into New York City uninvited from Ohio, suck her soul out, tear down her buildings, build glass blemishes, and pretend she actually loves you, you #OOPS#ing faggots. I hope the real estate market crashes, NYC turns as bad as it ever was, and you all get stabbed and shot.
--- left at 02/11/08 10:16 AM.
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"tear down her buildings, build glass blemishes"...so that's what the influx of people says to you? Some history for you: New York is constantly reinventing itself...adapt or get flushed into the Hudson.
--- left at 02/11/08 10:33 AM.

Posted on: 2008/2/11 16:45
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Re: New York Times: Arts Developers, Now Hear This
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I am the next Picasso. I paint stripes and dots. I live in JC because Manhattan doesn't have tea stores and who cares about Paris. My vote is very important, because, precisely like me, it is anonymous - I can discounts from Healy, but still vote for Fulop. Give me subsidized housing!

Posted on: 2008/2/9 23:20
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New York Times: Arts Developers, Now Hear This
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CAN I MAKE A MESS? Part of an arts district planned for a factory site in Orange.

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Artists say their quarters, like this one in Passaic, shouldn?t be too sleek to allow creativity.

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JERSEY CITY ARTS DISTRICT, BUILDING BLOCKS This 52-story design by Rem Koolhaas is to house apartments, hotel rooms and artists? spaces as well as stores, an art gallery and a cabaret.

Arts Developers, Now Hear This

New York Times
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
Published: February 10, 2008

IT seems a talent peculiar to artists: the ability to locate real estate ripe for transformation, imbue it with a little panache, and price oneself out.

Artists say their quarters, like this one in Passaic, shouldn?t be too sleek to allow creativity.

SoHo, TriBeCa and Dumbo leap to mind. But among the newest sites is the designated Arts District in Jersey City. ?We go into these downtrodden buildings,? said Kay Kenny, a photographer and painter in Jersey City, ?and we live with the crumbling walls, the darkness and the pigeons, and we succeed in making these places vibrant ? and we succeed too well. Then, we get pushed out.?

As one of about 150 artists who gravitated to a warehouse building known as 111 First Street in downtown Jersey City during the 1990s, Ms. Kenny wound up as part of a well-publicized case in which artists were redeveloped out of their own funky niche.

As she explained it, all sorts of artists and musicians rented studio space at 111 ? and many also lived in the building, in defiance of zoning regulations but in full view of city authorities. But after the city embarked on its plan to create the downtown Arts District, the warehouse building, which sat in the middle of the district, changed hands.

Artist tenants were evicted, and after a long legal battle, the building was taken down last spring. Soon afterward, the architect Rem Koolhaas unveiled his design for a futuristic 52-story tower to take its place.

?Most artists won?t ever be able to afford space in a building like that,? said Ms. Kenny of the Koolhaas tower.

She said the local artists? group called Pro Arts, of which she is currently president, has since entirely shifted its focus from downtown as an artists? haven, and now looks to the Journal Square neighborhood.

Within the formal district downtown, the city requires that 10 percent of all units in new buildings be offered at reduced rates to city-certified artists. But there are long waiting lists for those spaces, Ms. Kenny noted, and a planned lottery to allot the next batch of them to become available offers no guarantees that artists who ?win? spaces will be assigned units that suit their individual needs, she said.

Over all, the Journal Square area, which is farther inland, remains less expensive, she explained. It offers a better stock of the sort of roomy structures that many artists favor ? in a state of dilapidation that makes them at once affordable and appropriate for the making of art. ?There are still lots of old warehouses available at relatively low prices,? Ms. Kenny said.

She acknowledged that property values would most likely rise in Journal Square, too, with the arrival of artists and the completion of various projects currently under way. But she said her group was hoping to prevail on city officials and developers to preserve some space there that is not so chic and shiny.

One Journal Square complex in which grittier space could be preserved ? a row of brick behemoths that together have a million square feet ? is about to be remade into 551 loft units in a development called Canco Lofts (after the complex?s former life as the American Can Company). The condominiums are being marketed to artists as ?live-work? space ? and to nonartists as upscale and unique apartments in a community where artists set the tone.

The Pro Arts group so far has friendly relations with the Canco developers, according to Ms. Kenny. Last fall, one of Canco?s unreconstructed warehouses served as a gallery for the Pro Arts? annual statewide art show ? and both developers and artists saw it as a rousingly successful effort.

Kathryn Beckwith Fishman, a painter who exhibited work in that show, began to consider the purchase of a condo at the complex. Ms. Fishman, who recalls thriving in Manhattan ?ratholes? early in her career, currently lives with her family in a restored Victorian in Montclair, and does her painting in a rented space at a warehouse in nearby Bloomfield.

?I think my raw-warehouse, mattress-on-the-floor days are permanently over,? she said, ?but Canco might be a good middle ground ? a comfortable place to live, a cool place to work, and a community with other artists.?

Ms. Fishman says she knows she closely fits the profile of the ideal resident for Canco, at least in the developers? eyes. But, she said, she is still a bit torn.

Once a particular building or neighborhood gets too ritzy for mattress-on-the-floor types, ?it does tend to lose the look and feel that make it a real artists? community,? in Ms. Fishman?s view. ?There is some elusive quality that makes a place exciting to an artist, and I don?t know how long any place that undergoes gentrification continues to project that quality,? she said.

Ultimately, Ms. Kenny suggests, all parties benefit from a good mix of housing stock and a diverse population, since those are key ingredients to making any neighborhood thrive.

In Orange, where work is about to begin in a neighborhood dominated by large, empty hat-factory buildings to create the five-block domain of the Valley Arts District, Patrick Morrissy, the director of Hands, a nonprofit community development company, said he was acutely aware of the need to keep the mix ?lively.?

?We want to build an arts district that is exciting, stimulating, sophisticated ? but still has its natural urban grit,? Mr. Morrissy said. ?After our arts district really comes alive, we don?t want the artists to ever leave.?

Hands, which has been at work revitalizing neighborhoods of Orange and East Orange, block by block, for the past 35 years, is in partnership with two large conventional companies on the Valley Arts project.

A total of 500 apartments ? condos and rentals ? are planned, both in the rehabilitated hat factories and in several new buildings.

The project also involves transformation of a Laundromat building into a 99-seat theater and ?arts incubator? offices; conversion of a former ironworks shop into a student design center; repurposing of a long-abandoned factory workers? bar as a cafe or club; and other such arts-related reuses.

Posted on: 2008/2/9 18:58
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