On January 20, 2017, after 2 1/2 years of preparation, six New York artists and one non-profit purchased a 6,400 SF lot of land in the South Bronx through an innovative real estate enterprise called ArtCondo, co-founded by two artists, Michele Gambetta and Matthew Fletcher. With the support of ArtCondo, this group joined together to purchase and develop a NYC property near the Bronx Hub at 149th Street, for work studios and live-work spaces. These artists leveraged their collective buying power to create a new and sustainable creative model with working spaces in NYC. Participants include: Amy Cheng, Barbara Broughel, Allan McCollum, Tracy Calvan, Gordon Fearey, Michele Gambetta and Glass Farm Ensemble.
With this inaugural project in the South Bronx, ArtCondo purchased a vacant lot that will become a 20,000 SF artists’ community with work/live spaces, studio work spaces, timeshares for non-local artists, and a non-profit community facility space. Creative and culture professionals from all disciplines will be eligible to purchase additional work/live and work spaces, with community spaces allocated for neighborhood outreach and non-profits. The time-share component will allow international artists, gallery owners and foundations to own a pied-a-terre to create, exhibit or sell their creative wares in NYC.
Michele Gambetta, an artist, entrepreneur and a licensed real estate agent with Bond New York Properties has a Certificate in Real Estate Finance and Investment from NYU Schack Institute, and works in commercial and residential real estate at Bond New York. After seeing countless artists forced to leave NYC because of skyrocketing rents, Gambetta joined with Matthew Fletcher to developed ArtCondo, to provide artists, non-profits, arts businesses and creative workers the opportunity to purchase property collectively with fellow artists, and to provides art resources and community space for surrounding neighborhoods. Bond New York Properties is NYC’s largest privately owned real estate company, offering residential and commercial sales, rentals and development opportunities.
Matthew Fletcher, an artist living and working in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, has been working as web designer for twenty years and a user interface engineer for the last ten years. He is currently working as an independent web developer focusing on the needs of other creative professionals. He studied painting at Biola University and Claremont Graduate School.
About ArtCondo (www.ArtCondo.com)
New York artists often pay two monthly rents: one for work/studio space and the second for their housing. As such, they are uniquely vulnerable to NYC’s rapidly rising rents. Without its vital arts community, New York City risks losing its allure to the outstanding artists and creative industries that have made NYC a global cultural capital.
ArtCondo’s artist ownership model creates and taps value for artists and helps them to live and work in NYC. ArtCondo finds and connects buyers with each other, giving them access to more desirable inventory, and helps them in the search for perfect building. ArtCondo helps groups accomplish what they could never do alone.
ArtCondo will have a table at the Annual College Art Association Conference, Feb 15 - 18th in NYC. (http://conference.collegeart.org/) and is currently a nominee in Fractured Atlas’ 2017 Arts Entrepreneurship Award Competition, created to honor the creative innovators and risk-takers who embody the spirit of entrepreneurship. Fractured Atlas is a national non-profit artist service organization providing a range of services for the independent arts community. (www.Fracturedatlas.org) In 2014, ArtCondo was a semi-finalist in NYU’s Social Venture Competition.