Update On Proposed Long-term Studio and Rehearsal Space for Allston-Brighton Artist Community
Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC), in collaboration with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), today announced next steps for the proposed long-term accommodation for the Allston-Brighton artist community as a result of the proposed redevelopment of 155 N Beacon St.
Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC), in collaboration with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), today announced next steps for the proposed long-term accommodation for the Allston-Brighton artist community as a result of the proposed redevelopment of 155 N Beacon St. The BPDA intends to schedule the public hearing and vote for this project to take place at the June board meeting, as part of the May board meeting agenda. If passed, the City will acquire 290 N Beacon Street to be preserved as a space for arts. This milestone follows previously announced temporary space for 500+ musicians across 88 rehearsal rooms at 55 Morrissey in Dorchester for artists/musicians displaced from Brighton.
"This permanent studio rehearsal space is a historic achievement for our Allston-Brighton artist community and citywide goal of preserving and creating new creative spaces in Boston," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "I am grateful to Councilor Breadon, the Office of Arts and Culture, the BPDA, the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition and our community partners for their quick efforts to secure a space for our artists to have a place to call their own."
“I am thrilled at this outcome and so grateful for the generosity of IQHQ to secure this crucial artist and creator space. Our neighborhood is rich in culture and defined by our creative economy, and this future use will reaffirm our commitment to supporting the arts community that has become a staple of Allston-Brighton,” said Councilor Liz Breadon. “When good faith parties come to the table, we can create solutions that benefit all of our residents. Thank you to Mayor Wu for your leadership and for making this a priority as part of a broad effort to nurture this beautiful community across Boston.”
"It's been a whirlwind," says Jim Healey, a long-time musician at 155 North Beacon Street, now set up at the interim music rehearsal complex in Dorchester. "Losing our Brighton workspaces is a huge loss, but the Dorchester spaces are really great. The Record Co. did an amazing job getting them built and open on time. We're glad the City is taking steps to make our return to Brighton and thank everyone involved."
"We're so grateful to all who came to our aid," says Sam Creager of Ugly Duck Studios. "Moving and rebuilding our recording studio is very involved, but we're glad to have the space at 55 Morrissey to hold us over. We are glad everyone involved is taking necessary steps needed to get us back to Allston/Brighton."
“This building will play a major role in mitigating the ongoing artist space issues in Boston that were exacerbated by the redevelopment of 155 N Beacon, and is a milestone for the growing advocacy in Boston's arts community and our development of cultural policy,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture. “We look forward to the public process for this project and working collaboratively to ensure artists and musicians can stay in Allston-Brighton.”
"Since purchasing 155 N. Beacon Street we have been working closely with the Mayor’s Office with the goal of securing affordable high-quality rehearsal space in Allston-Brighton for the long-term needs of the area’s musicians and artists,” said Kim Thai, IQHQ’s Director of Development. “To that end, IQHQ is proud to announce the purchase and gifting of 290 N. Beacon Street to the City of Boston"
The 290 N Beacon St. building will be the largest mitigation package the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the BPDA have received to help support the arts and culture community in Boston. These efforts are in line with the City’s overarching goal of achieving no net loss of cultural space, and a continuation of the BPDA’s robust negotiations with developers through the Article 80 process to ensure that community members meaningfully share in the y benefits from development in Boston’s neighborhoods.
The proposed redevelopment of 155 N Beacon St. will demolish the existing on-site building that was previously home to 40,000 sq ft of rehearsal and recording space serving over 700 musicians and other performing artists, and replace it with a life science campus totaling approximately 409,395 square feet. As part of the mitigation package for the project, the developer of 155 N Beacon, IQHQ, purchased 290 N Beacon, which the City will receive, to create a long-term accommodation for the Allston-Brighton artist community.
Since March, The #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, the BPDA, The Record Co., and Center Court Mass. LLC, arranged a temporary home for artists displaced from 155 North Beacon Street. The swing space at 55 Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester is providing 88 monthly music rehearsal spaces for up to two years. The 55 Morrissey space opened in March of this year.
Additionally, the BPDA anticipates beginning community engagement for a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for the renovation of this site into artist workspace in late summer of 2023. The RFP visioning process will be open to all, through which the BPDA will be soliciting feedback to help guide the development objectives for the site. Following the conclusion of the RFP drafting process, the BPDA will release an RFP, seeking a qualified developer and operator to redevelop 290 N Beacon.
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- Published by: Arts and Culture