Like many other American cities, Buffalo has long sought ways to spark economic development in the aging neighborhoods around its central business district. As part of its efforts, in 2004 the City invited Artspace to redevelop the historic Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company factory in the Midtown neighborhood into an affordable artist live/ work project. Built in 1911, this five-story factory had once played a leading role in Buffalo’s thriving automobile industry. Later it housed a printing business, but it had stood vacant for more than 15 years when it was acquired by Artspace.
Artspace Buffalo Lofts, developed in partnership with the Belmont Shelter Corporation, now provides 60 units of affordable housing for artists and their families. There are 36 units in the historic factory; the remaining 24 units are in six newly constructed fourplexes built on vacant land behind the factory. The $17.6 million project includes commercial space on the main floor of the factory building as well as a two-level community gallery that is managed by the property’s resident artists.
In 2010, Manchester Bidwell Corporation announced that it would establish a new training facility, the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, at the Artspace Buffalo Lofts. The new center offers after-school visual arts programs for at-risk urban high school students as well as health sciences career training for under-employed and unemployed adults.
Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects
Belmont Shelter Corporation
City of Buffalo Ofﬁce of Strategic Planning Economic Development InitiativeHousing and Urban Development AppropriationEmpire State Development CorporationM&T BankNew York State Housing Trust Fund CorporationNew York State Division of Housing and Community RenewalRBC–Apollo Equity PartnersThe Community Preservation Corporation
The Baird FoundationThe Cameron Baird FoundationCommunity Foundation for Greater BuffaloPeter C. Cornell TrustM&T Charitable FoundationNational Trust for Historic Preservation / HGTV Restore America ProgramThe John R. Oishei Foundation Seymour H. Knox Foundation Margaret L. Wendt Foundation Zemsky Family Foundation
“This is yet another step forward for Buffalo’s flourishing artistic community, and one that is sure to continue the role Artspace has played in the cultural and economic growth of the city.”—U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Artspace Buffalo Lofts provides 60 units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families. There are 36 units in the historic factory; the remaining 24 units are in six newly constructed fourplexes built on vacant land behind the factory. A community gallery on the ground floor is managed by the resident artists.
The large ground-floor commercial space is occupied by the new Buffalo Center for Arts & Technology, which offers a variety of programs to benefit youth at-risk of dropping out of high school and adults who are either unemployed or underemployed.
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