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Vancouver to convert two industrial buildings into 26,000 square feet of arts space | OpenFile

Really wonderful news for Vancouver artists this week: 

As part of a move to increase studio space in Vancouver, the City will be issuing a request for proposals for the use of 26,300 sq. ft. of new artists’ space at two city-owned industrial warehouses: 16,000 sq. ft. at 251 & 281 Industrial and 10,300 sq. ft. at 2625 & 2629 Kaslo. The leases will be for 3-5 years, with the aim to have tenants in place this winter. The buildings will then be broken up and rented to individual artists, meaning a 100-square-foot space will cost the artist between $70 and $150 per month.

The usual price for a 100 sq. ft. work space in the city is usually around $1000, more than 6 times what these will be offered at. There’s more: 

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Park Board will make six more field houses available to artists for studio space in: Elm ParkFalaise ParkHadden Park, Slocan Park, and Strathcona Park. The board is already accepting applications for those spaces.

That’s not all! 

…an additional 13,000 square feet of studio space will become available over the next few years at three recently approved developments, including 20 studios in a 10,000-square-foot space at 1265 Howe Street.

I can’t tell you how great it is to read this news, in a city that’s so expensive that artists have been leaving in droves. Nothing is ready to view yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this to see how it develops. I am really impressed with the city for doing this, and anxious to see what happens next.