A community of practicing artists in Los Angeles that has thrived for three decades is facing extinction. A new owner of the downtown complex is implementing rent hikes that will likely force the artists to leave their homes and studios.
LA Times reports:
"The Miami-based development agency Fifteen Group bought the complex of buildings in June 2018 and notified many tenants that their rents will be raised significantly — doubling or tripling for some residents — starting the first of this month.
The Santa Fe Art Colony was established in 1986 with public funds through the Community Redevelopment Agency, allowing for the adaptive reuse of factory buildings into artist studios. A 30-year agreement set rent restrictions on 85% of the 57 units.
'We serve not just a cultural function, but the arts are huge in the economy,' said Sylvia Tidwell, head of the Santa Fe Art Colony Tenants Assn., who said her rent had been $1,426 but is rising to $4,493 effective Friday. 'The fine artists working in the studio at the grassroots level, we generate ideas that inform all the other creative industries.'"