Artspace South Main lofts receives grant

Memphis is closer to the creation of the only affordable housing development intended for artists and creative professionals in the city thanks to a challenge grant.

Artspace is the nation’s leader in arts-based community development. It has announced a $500,000 challenge grant from a local anonymous friend of the organization that will help in the creation of Artspace South Main Lofts, a 58-unit development that will include adaptive reuse of an existing warehouse and new construction. It will be at 138 St. Paul Ave. in the South Main Historic Arts District.

“Memphis is known nationally as one of the country’s true creative hubs and hotbeds, and ensuring that artists will always have affordable, high-quality spaces to live and work is essential to the culture and economy of this city,” said Kerry Hayes, Principal at Key Public Strategies and consultant to Artspace Project Inc. “Memphis is blessed with visionary leaders who understand that, as this latest challenge grant demonstrates.”

The Hyde Family Foundations, the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, the Ford Foundation and the city of Memphis are contributors to the $15 million project, which also relies on tax credits from the state of Tennessee.

Once financing is secured, construction will begin in the first quarter of 2016, with completion expected in the spring of 2017. LRK is the architect and Montgomery Martin will be the general contractor.

“Artspace has been working closely with the city of Memphis and numerous philanthropic partners since 2010 on developing a project in our community,” Hayes said. The South Main district has always been appealing for a variety of reasons, particularly its rich creative history and close proximity to many other cultural assets.”

Read more articles by Lance Wiedower.

Lance is a veteran journalist with more than 16 years of experience in newsrooms in the Memphis area as a reporter and editor, including most recently as managing editor of The Daily News. He regularly contributes to The Daily News, including a biweekly travel column, The Daily Traveler. 
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