New York Works: NYCEDC and DCLA Announce 50,000 Square Feet of Artist Workspace at Brooklyn Army Terminal

“Affordable studio space in Sunset Park is good news for artists. The new 50,000 square feet of space at Brooklyn Army Terminal will extend a citywide initiative to help artists and small firms struggling with high rents and displacement. Artists and art-centered companies are a vital part of the City’s economy and the lifeblood of our creative culture. I celebrate the selection of the local non-profit, ArtBuilt Brooklyn, to manage the site, and that some studios will be as small as 250 square feet. City-owned properties should dedicate a portion of their space to artists whenever practical, and I support finding more opportunities for low-cost, reliable studio space in Sunset Park,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.

“I welcome ArtBuilt as the newest artist studio and workspace at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This new tenant will help support individuals and small businesses including fine artists, woodworkers, theatrical set designer/builders, and others. New businesses in the Sunset Park community should result in spending and activity with community residents. With new tenants, we should also look to better transportation and services to help get people to and from the Terminal,” said Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.

As outlined in Mayor de Blasio’s New York Works plan, ArtBuilt Brooklyn is part of the Administration’s efforts to create 10,000 good jobs over the next ten years through the preservation of cultural assets and investments in the creative economy. These efforts also include the creation of a Made in NY campus for fashion, film, and television at Bush Terminal.

New York City has a pressing need for affordable workspace for artists and art-based businesses. Even before the start of construction, ArtBuilt Brooklyn has seen a swell of interest from local artists, an indication of the pressing need for affordable creative and artist workspace in New York City, where suitable spaces for this type of tenant are increasingly difficult to find.

In 2015, the nonprofit arts organization ArtBuilt conceived ArtBuilt Brooklyn in response to a wave of studio evictions in Gowanus, Brooklyn, which displaced hundreds of artists and creative organizations. ArtBuilt partnered with a group of displaced artists to search for new space that could offer both affordability and the stability of a long-term lease. NYCEDC offered ArtBuilt both affordable industrial space and long-term leases at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. ArtBuilt Brooklyn will help the City achieve its goal under the AREA initiative to provide 500 affordable workspaces for artists over the next decade.

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