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ARTSPACE SAYS PORTLAND IS PRIME FOR LIVE/WORK SPACE

Creative Portland has today released a preliminary feasibility report (ArtSpace PF Report for Creative Portland) from Artspace, a national nonprofit real estate  developer specializing in live/work studios for artists, indicating that Portland has strong potential for successful projects. The report provides findings from their two-day visit to the city last September. While in Portland, Artspace visited five potential sites, and in the report highlight two as possible candidates for further consideration for an Artspace project: the Hampshire/ Federal Block in the India Street neighborhood and the city-owned General Store site on Hanover Street in the West Bayside neighborhood. A third site, an empty lot on Newbury Street, was also listed as “having merit.” The other two sites visited were the St. Lawrence Arts Center and a J.B. Brown building on West Commercial Street. The report notes that the primary purpose of the first visit was to assess Portland’s overall readiness to pursue a live/work development not to select a specific site, so other sites are likely to emerge as viable in the future. The report recommends that Portland undertake a professional survey to identify the most suitable project for its precise demographic. “Portland is more than ready for the next phase of the process,” says the report. “It’s high time for Creative Portland and its collaborators to quantify the need so that serious discussion can begin, so that others whose support will ultimately be needed can have reliable information about the market for affordable live/work artist housing, studio space, and facilities for arts organizations in Portland and the collective economic power represented by that market.” "I'm not surprised by the findings of this report", said Andy Graham, Creative Portland president. "It confirms again that the art community is a valued and valuable part of the Portland community, and that we need to invest time and resources in making sure that artists can afford to live and work here. Otherwise, our arts community will continue to decamp for more affordable places like Westbrook, Biddeford, and Lewiston. Portland without its artists would be a sad place." Creative Portland is currently seeking funding for an artist market survey with Artspace. For more information, contact Jennifer Hutchins, Executive Director, Creative Portland, 207-772-6828. # # #

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