Delray’s Arts Warehouse Nears Completion

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Staff report

Delray Beach artists will soon have a place to paint, sculpt and showcase their works at an affordable rate.

The long-anticipated opening of an Arts Warehouse in the city’s Pineapple Grove Arts District is almost over.

Community Redevelopment Agency officials say the incubator space will be open in time for season.

The CRA owns and will manage the space. The agency hired Jill Brown as the Arts Warehouse Manager several months ago to serve as the Arts Warehouse manager.

The agency purchased the 15,000-square-foot warehouse located at 313 NE Third St. in 2010 for about $1 million. Since then, the agency brought in a firm to conduct a study on what the build out of the space should include and budgeted to complete the work.

The idea is to merge the creative arts and business-minded by providing each field a place to work, side-by-side. The space will provide local artists and burgeoning business folk a place to work without having to pay the often sky-high rents of downtown locations.

The space is also intended to enhance the city’s image as an arts destination. For decades, the city has attracted artists of all mediums to the city and has been home to artist colonies.

The buildout of the space cost the agency several million to complete. The warehouse will have studio spaces of varying sizes, gallery exhibits, classrooms and workshop spaces. It also has a food preparation area and will be capable of hosting events with catering on site.

Delray Beach-based architectural firm of Currie Sowards Aguila was selected to design the improvements to convert the warehouse into an arts space in 2014.

In Aug. 2016, Hatcher Construction & Development, Inc was awarded the contract to renovate the Arts Warehouse.

Pressure to complete the space built up after a section of warehouses in Artists Alley were purchased in 2015 and the new owner increased rents, which forced a lot of local artists to leave the city. The CRA put in an offer to buy the warehouses, which were in foreclosure, but the bid was rejected.

Soon, artists will have a new warehouse to work from. The agency is accepting requests from visual artists who are interested in leasing studio space in the warehouse.

For more information, visit https://delraycra.org, like the Arts Warehouse page on Facebook or follow the space on Twitter at twitter.com/artswarehouseDB