Known for its commitment to is residents and to the arts, the City of Somerville is taking a unique step toward ensuring creativity remains alive within the city. Together with the city planning and community development office, the Somerville Arts Council is inviting artists and other creative industry workers to come to the city and share their craft.
By inviting creative people to explain what they are looking for in terms of studio space or live-work space, the Somerville Arts Council hopes to help these creative individuals located the commercial space they are looking for. By being involved with the process, the city hopes to relieve some of the development pressure that is making it difficult for those who want studio space to find it. While there is still a lot of studio workspace available in the city, prices keep rising and the space is frequently being changed to residential space. Through this unique initiative, the city hopes tohelp provide more support to the cultural community.
Many commercial property owners in Somerville are also looking to do something with their vacant space. Unfortunately, these spaces are often extremely developed or they need to undergo a great deal of redevelopment. As a result, the rent costs are so high that only large tenants can afford them. This means they are typically looking for chains to rent the space rather than looking for a more traditional lessee. By connecting artists and helping them pool their resources, the city and the Somerville Arts Council hopes they may be able to form an LLC and then be able to lease the larger spaces.
The city is also hoping to find a commercial developer who is interested in working with members of the creative community who wish to find live-work space in Somerville. Commercial landlords interested in participating in the program are asked to call the Arts Council at 617-625-6600 at extension 2985 or the planning and community development office at extension 2500.
If you are a creative individual who would like to give feedback toward the project and who wants to be matched with a commercial space in Somerville, complete the Somerville Arts Council questionnaire. Already, approximately 50 people have responded to the questionnaire and the city is working hard to find commercial real estate listings to suit their needs.