The Artist Live-Work Spaces of the DC Area

  • November 4th 2009

by Katie Knorovsky

The Artist Live-Work Spaces of the DC Area: Figure 1
Retail and Artist Lofts at Arts District Hyattsville

Even if you’re not artistically inclined, there’s something a little dreamy about the idea of living in a sprawling artist loft. Dream is the operative word here, since in reality most artists work themselves ragged juggling jobs to pay rent (or mortgages) and scrounging to buy art supplies and the occasional bag of groceries.

Though the Washington area wouldn’t be called a hub for artist live-work spaces (at least not yet), creative types looking for a place where they will be surrounded by like-minded peers — and artist-friendly price tags — do have a few options.

  • Prince George’s County’s Gateway Arts District, which hugs Route 1 from Mount Rainier to Hyattsville, includes the Mount Rainier Artist Lofts and Renaissance Square, each of which has 44 live-work rental units. Though no live-work spaces are currently for sale at EYA’s Arts District Hyattsville, there are spots for artists in its resident art galleries. The Lustine Center Gallery, which has a 400-square-foot “art gym,” is looking for more artists to share the cost of renting studio space (at the low price of $45 a month). New townhomes nearby start at $399,000.

  • The 50-unit Mather Studios in the Penn Quarter has 12 highly coveted artist condos. Sold as raw spaces in 2003, the artist owners earn between 50 to 80 percent of the DC metro area’s median income, as calculated by HUD. “The spaces are amazing, and the people who live there have awesome art parties,” says artist Jesse Cohen of ArtDC.org. Mather Studios also houses Flashpoint, and the Cultural Development Corporation offices along with the 50 condos. Flashpoint is an incubator space that includes a gallery, theatre, dance studio and office spaces for arts organizations.

The Artist Live-Work Spaces of the DC Area: Figure 2
Inside the Mount Ranier Artist Lofts

  • Union Place Phase I is currently developing artist housing at the new Loree Grand at Union Place, located at 3rd and K Streets NE. The plans are for 30 live-work affordable apartments, available to artists who earn 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). The building will feature studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and two-bedrooms with den ranging from 596 to 1,362 square feet.

  • Local blog DCmud recently reported that Inscape Studio’s Greg Kearley is set to propose a live-work space for artists at the currently-vacant lot at 1932 9th Street NW (map) to “serve the burgeoning artist community in the U Street neighborhood.” Plans include a mix of ground-floor retail, second-floor office space, and residential and studio units.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_artist_live-work_spaces_of_the_dc_area/1477.

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