Hopkins put art in the heart of its downtown with the opening of the Hopkins Arts Center 20 years ago.Now the city is looking to boost its creative center even more by building affordable housing and studio space for artists.
The Hopkins City Council on Tuesday entered into an agreement with Artspace, a nonprofit developer of "live-work" spaces for artists, to explore the possibility. Artspace would tour potential sites in early August and meet with local artists and community members to determine whether there is enough interest in such a project.
Hopkins Mayor Molly Cummings said it is an idea the city has tried to foster for years. Officials have previously asked other developers to look at building space for artists.
Minneapolis-based Artspace develops properties around the country. It owns more than a dozen buildings in Minnesota, mostly in the Twin Cities. In addition to Hopkins, Bloomington has also reached out to the organization with an interest in building live-work spaces for artists.
"Not everyone wants to live in Minneapolis or St. Paul," said Kersten Elverum, director of planning and development for Hopkins.