Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Studio city

Buffalo was recently named the #1 Arts Destination for Mid-Sized cities by American Style magazine. It shares the honor with big-size New York and small-size Santa Fe. I think, for the people who live here, this is a welcome but unsurprising recognition.

In their write-up (graciously passed along by my friend Melissa!), they mention Buffalo's efforts to attract and retain working artists with the subsidized Artspace Lofts housing project. While Artspace seems great--after all, I've got a soft spot for intentional communities--I'd like to see more attention placed on the easy opportunities for inexpensive work/live spaces in the City. Artists desiring studio and living space--hell, living quarters!--would likely find Buffalo's housing market a treasure trove.
Using our house and situation as an example, here's what's to offer:
  • Two homes (both doubles) with a combined 4,000 square feet (roughly 2,000 ft. each
  • Rental income on the front home
  • Two apartments in the back house with 2-3 bedrooms in each plus a full attic
  • A mortgage payment a little over $500 a month
  • Less than a mile or two from the Elmwood Village and downtown Buffalo, both of which host art galleries, theaters, shops, and other points of interest
  • Walkable distance to Grant Street with its family-owned Italian market, butchers, pharmacy, community center, and more
Before Steve and Sara moved to the downstairs apartment, Steve's music studio sprawled throughout the living room. We had an enormous home "theater" in one of the extra bedrooms and a "dead daughter room," which was for all intents and purposes a guest room. The kitchen was unused. In short, we had plenty of room. Even now, there's a lot of room down there and Steve has a small, magenta-painted music studio in one of the bedrooms. I still have, as I always have since we moved in, an office in which I write and store massive amounts of junk.

So, artists, come to our city and turn a vacant house problem into progress.

1 comment:

Tom Geller said...

I'm a freelance writer living in San Francisco who's thinking of moving back to upstate NY in the next couple of years, and Buffalo has a special place in my heart for the reasons you mentioned. :)