Artspace cancels planned downtown headquarters

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August 10, 2012 by Sarah M

//By Jeremy Zoss//

Artspace, the nonprofit developer of artist housing and projects such as the Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts has canceled its plans for a six-story development on Washington Avenue. According to Artspace vice president of communications Melodie Bahan, the organization let the development rights lapse for the parcel adjacent to the new American Academy of Neurology.

“We had the development rights through a certain period of time. That expired and we made a decision not to renew,” said Bahan. “It just wasn’t feasible for us as a non-profit. The hurdles were just too great for a non-profit developer once the County determined that the site was too far from the light rail to qualify for Transit Oriented Development funding.”

The original plans for the development called for six-story building that would house Artspace’s offices as well as 61 artist live/work spaces and a gallery. The organization was also exploring creating a rooftop farm with the consultation of the nearby Mill City Farmers Market.

Artspace may explore locations for a new headquarters in another area of Minneapolis in the future, but for now it will remain in the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art. Bahan said the organization is currently focused on Jackson Flats, a 35-unit development at 1843 Jackson St. NE. The low-income housing project will include studio and gallery spaces, a performing art spaces and classrooms. It is scheduled to open in fall 2013.


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