San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim this week announced a real estate deal that will aid arts organizations that work with LGBTs and others.
Lee and Kim joined the new nonprofit Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) Wednesday, November 13 to announce the purchase of two buildings in the Central Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods.
One building, at 1007 Market Street, will allow the Luggage Store Gallery to stay and ultimately permit the gallery owners to assume full ownership of the building. The site had been at risk of sale due to private investors, according to Lee’s office. The area around 1007 Market is home to many low-income LGBTs, and work in the gallery often reflects life in the neighborhood.
Hospitality House Community Art Program, the gallery’s subtenant, will be able to sign a long term lease. The program is the only local free-of-charge fine arts studio.
CounterPULSE, a performing arts space that frequently features work by LGBTs, will take over the second building, which is at 80 Turk Street and which the mayor’s office referred to in a news release as an “underutilized former adult theater.” The building once housed the Doll House Theater.
CounterPULSE is currently located on Mission Street near Ninth Street. It will begin raising money to assume ownership of its new building and move in in early 2015.
“A major transformation is underway on Central Market, and arts are central to that revitalization,” stated Lee. “Long-time neighborhood institutions like CounterPULSE and The Luggage Store not only anchor the growing arts district but maintain the fabric of creative nonprofit organizations that characterize Central Market.”
Kim stated, “This is one solution the city can continue to support and expand in order to preserve what builds community and neighborhoods.”
CAST was recently formed by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Northern California Community Loan Fund to support San Francisco’s efforts to help stabilize and expand arts groups as part of the Central Market Economic Strategy. The Rainin foundation committed $5 million over five years as seed funding which includes acquiring the sites.
The city’s Grants for the Arts, Arts Commission, and Office of Economic and Workforce Development are providing over $150,000 in funding for the Luggage Store Gallery and $180,000 to CounterPULSE for work involving the Turk Street space.
“CAST is seeking capital to undertake more acquisitions to serve as permanent affordable art space in the neighborhood,” according to the mayor’s office.
Like many residents of the area, nonprofits have expressed fear about being forced out due to increasing rents. Lee and Kim also announced the availability of real estate and financing technical assistance services to nonprofit arts organizations and small businesses in the Central Market, Sixth Street, and Tenderloin neighborhoods.