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When art is used as real estate bait

As struggling artists have flocked to Bushwick, developers areriding their wave, turning showcase apartments into temporary galleryspaces to draw open house crowds.<p></p>

As struggling artists have flocked to Bushwick, developers are riding their wave, turning showcase apartments into temporary gallery spaces to draw open house crowds.

“It’s about showing some appreciation for the community,” Serkan Ozturkcan of AptsandLofts.com, said about the paintings that hung at 326 Melrose St. where eight newly-built apartments range from $295,000 to $449,000.

Chloe Bass, of community group Arts in Bushwick, criticized the marketing campaigns’ “search of lifestyle, not life.”

“I love Bushwick,” said Bass, who moved there to be close to her $5-an-hour rehearsal space at Chez Bushwick, “but if I was going to pay that kind of money, I would live elsewhere.”

At the 143-unit Castle Braid — which went rental instead of its original condo plan — artwork took over two floors in the fall.

“We tried to promote it without letting people know it was a residential building,” broker Taylor Clark said, noting some would scoff at being lured in. The building bills itself as an artists’ community.

Residents put work in empty duplexes. A recording studio and wood shop are to open. A couple in a $1,650-a-month one-bedroom with their 1-year-old boy won six months of free rent in the building’s film contest.

Because Castle Braid’s two-bedrooms are steep for starving artists at $2,100 a month, the building is hosting “meet-ups” for possible roommates and turning some into three-bedrooms, Clark said.

 
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