Spaceworks space issue

By Paul Schrag on May 19, 2011


A handful of local artists are suddenly out of luck as property owners in downtown Tacoma have announced they will stop participating in a program that provided artists with free studio and gallery space.

You've likely already seen some of the fruits of the program known as Spaceworks Tacoma - an arrangement between downtown property owners and the City of Tacoma that puts would-be career creatives into perpetually vacant retail spaces. As told, artists get help building their business and a space to show their work, and property owners don't have to try to lease storefronts in a ghost town. Best case scenario, participating artists grow into thriving businesses and begin paying for the space. Worst case, the downtown retail environment doesn't look so pathetic all the time.

But as commercial real estate markets start to pick up again, empty space also sends the message that storefronts are available for lease. Commercial broker Dominic Accetturo says his clients decided to cancel their agreement with one artist because of concerns that a prospective paying client might drive by and think the space is already leased because it's full of artists. In this case, the space is in Tacoma's historic Provident Building, owned by LinMar Properties, a San Diego-based investment group.

To read Paul Schrag's full article click here.