Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts and its companion project, the Historic West Side School, owe their existence to the persistence of Mary Becht, former Director of the Broward County Division of Cultural Affairs. In 1998, Ms. Becht invited Artspace to investigate the potential creation of an affordable mixed-use facility that would preserve and restore the Historic West Side School, one of Fort Lauderdale’s four original school buildings.
The school occupied part of a 13-acre site in the Sailboat Bend neighborhood, about a mile west of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Although the property was sold to a private developer, Lennar Homes, the community persuaded civic leaders and Lennar to include housing for artists in its redevelopment plans so that Sailboat Bend would retain its unique character as an arts district.
Completed in late 2007, the Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts now provide 37 affordable live/ work units for artists and their families, plus a spectacular three-story community room where artists hold meetings, exhibitions, lectures and other events. Next door, the renovated Historic West Side School serves as a home for the Broward County Historical Commission.
Broward County Board of CommissionersBroward County Cultural DivisionBroward County Housing Finance AuthorityCitibank Community Development,City of Fort LauderdaleRBC–Apollo Equity PartnersRBC Dain RauscherRaymond James
BankAtlantic FoundationDavid and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation, Inc.John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
“Demonstrating commitment to artists through this beautiful project, Broward County has achieved two of its goals: affordable housing and arts and culture.”
— Mary Becht, Director, Broward County Division of Cultural Affairs
The community’s various disciplined professional, mid-career and emerging talent includes painters, photographers, writers, poets, sculptors, dancers, musicians, actors, and graphic designers.
The artists come together with various local artists, non-profits, and art groups to create art exhibits, film screenings, workshops, and more in their three floor gallery space as well as the Fort Lauderdale Historic Commissions building next door. These events are always free to the public. A new exhibit opens every third Saturday of the month.
A three-story building featuring 37 live/work units.
Artspace | 250 Third Avenue North, Suite 400 | Minneapolis, MN 55401 | 612.333.9012 ©2015 Artspace Projects, Inc.