Another weekend, another story of artists getting chased out of yet another neighborhood they figured they’d be safe in. This time, with Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint, DUMBO, the West Village, the East Village, the Lower East Side, Chelsea and Long Island City all too expensive for studio spaces, artists thought they’d found a respite in Industry City. But it’s not to be, as the Sunset Park area is turning more towards light industry and basketball practice facilities, driving up rents for art studios that previously existed there.
The Times had the story of a number of artists who thought they’d found a place to set up shop for some time, only to see the costs for their studios skyrocket already. Studios that were renting for one dollar per square foot tripled in the span of just four years, which is proving too expensive for career artists with thin margins and rent they had to pay to actually live somewhere they weren’t using as a studio.
For once, condos aren’t to blame for the sudden spike in prices, as much as it is Industry City being an attractive space for places like MakerBot and test tube meat companies to set up shop. Still, with the spike in prices, artists such as glass-mosiac maker Michael Solomon are facing tough choices like having to move way the hell out on Long Island (ugh) or work from their homes like some lousy pantsless bloggers.