Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
nickmgray
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby nickmgray » October 20th, 2014, 2:26 pm

I've always questioned the designation of "artist lofts" for this and other projects. I guess the intent is to open the project up to a broader audience if the project lives up to the concept. Artists who live and work here would be bringing people in from the community to see or participate in their work. Personally, I have been to a few art shows hosted in artist buildings in the twin cities and other metro areas, so I see how the restriction does actually add value to the project and make it something that can be enjoyed by a lot more people than just those who live there.

That being said, I'd be willing to pay a lot of money to live here.

Does web developer count as being an "artist"?

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby alleycat » October 20th, 2014, 2:52 pm

The point is that most working artists can't afford a place like this. This opens a housing choice to them that is typically only available to well-to-do professionals. It's great that you'd be willing spend "a lot of money" for a place like this. That must mean you can afford any number of options already.

The North Loop was full of true artists lofts. They were bought and converted to luxury apartments and condos. This is a small way to even the playing field.
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FISHMANPET
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby FISHMANPET » October 20th, 2014, 3:02 pm

It's seems like a weird choice to single out artists and give them special housing. Where's our teachers lofts, or firefighter lofts, or whatever. Obviously artists are valuable to society, but I'm not sure they're so much more valuable than any other low paid service profession that they get housing targeted especially to them.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby MNdible » October 20th, 2014, 3:06 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:It's seems like a weird choice to single out artists and give them special housing. Where's our teachers lofts, or firefighter lofts, or whatever. Obviously artists are valuable to society, but I'm not sure they're so much more valuable than any other low paid service profession that they get housing targeted especially to them.
When firefighters and teachers start adding vibrancy to neighborhoods, then they'll get subsidized housing.

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Nick
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby Nick » October 20th, 2014, 4:00 pm

Some of our spambots certainly qualify as artists:

https://twitter.com/UrbanMSP/status/524319048515846145

EOst
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby EOst » October 20th, 2014, 5:11 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:It's seems like a weird choice to single out artists and give them special housing. Where's our teachers lofts, or firefighter lofts, or whatever. Obviously artists are valuable to society, but I'm not sure they're so much more valuable than any other low paid service profession that they get housing targeted especially to them.
The average teacher's salary in the Twin Cities is somewhere between 40 and 50k; that's already more than the income limits for this place. Firefighters make about 50k. Artist lofts exist because artists tend to be poor, but are valuable in a neighborhood anyway.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 20th, 2014, 6:30 pm

Not saying that isn't necessarily true. And I'm sure there's something to the whole agglomeration thing for artists to bounce ideas off each other (or steal, however you want to read that). But if they have value for neighborhoods by adding vibrancy (how do we even define that) shouldn't we encourage them to be living all over the city? It does seem odd to pick a random profession.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby EOst » October 20th, 2014, 7:31 pm

Artists have been government-subsidized since the Renaissance. It's certainly not odd.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby TroyGBiv » October 20th, 2014, 11:40 pm

Historically artists have extremely limited funds... they tend to live and work in extremely inexpensive areas... even industrial and abandoned sections. What happens is the creation of interesting, diverse 24/7 neighborhoods which draws visitors and others who want to live in neighborhoods like these... investors and developers see opportunities to acquire land and structures cheaper and begin to develop and transform those neighborhoods into something different than what drew the original artists... The view that artists - as part of an urban ecosystem - function as economic development agents... Artists do actually live throughout the cities... reasonable live/work space can be found most anywhere. The issue is that affordable space in a higher density is found in those specific "down trodden and forgotten areas." There is a certain energy that the city has been looking for in the St. Anthony Falls neighborhood. The Pillsbury A-Mill has sat for so many decades waiting for redevelopment and this project makes a ton of sense. Soap Factory is on that same block too. It will be interesting to see how the street life may change there when the building is fully occupied.

nlt
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby nlt » October 21st, 2014, 12:06 pm

What bothers me about the "artist lofts" concept is that it uses a program that was intended to ensure the availability of affordable housing in high-demand areas to pick the "right" kind of lower-income tenant. How would this project have been received if it hadn't had the "artist" stipulation attached? I can guarantee that the tenant demographic would be drastically different. I'm surprised that the artist lofts concept hasn't been destroyed by adverse impact claims.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby Didier » October 21st, 2014, 12:33 pm

I'm pretty sure market-rate apartments here were never an option due to high costs. They got a bunch of subsidies to build it as artist lofts.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby FISHMANPET » October 21st, 2014, 12:44 pm

But why subsidized housing for "artists" and not subsidized housing for "people?" With artist lofts we're saying this particular group of poor people is more worth of housing than this other group of poor people.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby GrowMPLS » October 21st, 2014, 2:04 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:But why subsidized housing for "artists" and not subsidized housing for "people?" With artist lofts we're saying this particular group of poor people is more worth of housing than this other group of poor people.
That is a really good point.

dingo
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby dingo » October 21st, 2014, 2:29 pm

I dont think anyone is stopping any developer from developing subsidized housing for other particular groups as long as they qualify financially (public servants, daycare workers, etc)

This building I believe is being development by Dominium who does non-artist developments but here in MN we have Artspace that does a similar developments on a national level.
http://www.artspace.org/

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby lordmoke » October 21st, 2014, 2:37 pm

GrowMPLS wrote:
FISHMANPET wrote:But why subsidized housing for "artists" and not subsidized housing for "people?" With artist lofts we're saying this particular group of poor people is more worth of housing than this other group of poor people.
That is a really good point.
I would disagree with that statement. In providing targeted low income housing, the special needs of individual groups are addressed. Special housing is also available for senior citizens, because an elderly person has different needs, resources, and limitations than a minimum wage-earning family of four, and both of those groups have different needs than a single working artist. We recognize that all of these people are valuable to keep in our communities, and make an effort to do so.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby EOst » October 21st, 2014, 4:07 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:But why subsidized housing for "artists" and not subsidized housing for "people?" With artist lofts we're saying this particular group of poor people is more worth of housing than this other group of poor people.
Yes. So what?

The government provides grants for scientists, because science is important. It provides grants for medical research, because medicine is important. It's by that same principle that it provides aid to artists. Art is valuable.

IllogicalJake
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby IllogicalJake » October 21st, 2014, 4:15 pm

I'm honestly surprised how many people here are just learning about artist housing... Indy had several of those going with more in the works.
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TommyT
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby TommyT » October 22nd, 2014, 7:29 am

These also aren't the only artist lofts in our area...

nlt
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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby nlt » October 22nd, 2014, 10:34 am

I don't think that the "artist lofts" concept is new to anyone; the Frogtown lofts have been around since '92, for example.

The debate is over whether or not it's an appropriate use of federal housing subsidy programs, now that we have several large, prominent projects employing LIHTC for very subjectively defined "artists." LIHTC properties, for example, are required to accept Section 8 vouchers. How many of the residents of Pillsbury & Schmidt will have vouchers? Probably none. By only accepting "artists," it's possible to screen out the "undesireable" (Somali, large family, other minority) tenants.

It's entirely possible that I'm making too many negative assumptions. But to me, it seems like a violation of the spirit in which the Section 42 program was created.

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Re: Pillsbury "A" Mill Redevelopment

Postby kirby96 » October 22nd, 2014, 11:23 am

nlt wrote:How many of the residents of Pillsbury & Schmidt will have vouchers? Probably none. By only accepting "artists," it's possible to screen out the "undesireable" (Somali, large family, other minority) tenants.

While I'm sure the spirit is in the right place, you could make a pretty solid case that 'artist' is code for 'liberal white people who had the luxury of going to college to pursue an arts degree'.

I don't think that IS the case, but how does that argument differ from any other 'xxx is code for yyy' arguments that are frequenty employed when arguing against discriminatory policies?


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