City offering properties for art, studio space; new proposal approved for Wall theatre space

Mayor Gregor Robertson’s campaign pledge to open up new creative space in the city is taking shape this week with yesterday’s open house at two city-owned spaces being offered up for artist and studio use.

The new spaces flow from a council motion I proposed earlier this year to lease out suitable city space for two reasons: to bring more space to market and to learn what the city can do to encourage the private sector to fill this important need.

The open house yesterday is over, but the deadline for submissions is Aug. 31, so there’s lots of time to get in your applications. (Join the listserv for updates here.)

Council has also been advised that a competitive process to find tenants for the Wall Theatre and Production Centre at 140 W. 1st has resulted in a recommendation to lease the space to a consortium of organizations including Bard on the Beach, the Arts Club and Pacific Theatre.

In a memo to council July 25, city manager Penny Ballem said an evaluation committee that included city staff and outside experts had endorsed this proposal with the proviso that additional work be completed on the business plan and construction costs. If all goes well, construction will begin n January on this very large cultural space.