Artists are getting a giant new affordable workspace inside the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. NY1's Natalie Duddridge got an exclusive tour of the new space.
It's a dream come true for local artists. Fifty thousand square feet inside the Brooklyn Army Terminal is being converted into studios to be used for all kinds of creations.
"Those things could be a painting. Those things could be a set. They could be a cabinetry. Anything you make with your hands," said Esther Robinson of ArtBuilt.
NY1 got the first behind-the-scenes tour of the space that will soon become the headquarters of ArtBuilt Brooklyn.
They teamed up with the city’s economic development corporation and Department of Cultural Affairs with one goal in mind: creating more affordable workspaces.
"It's always been part of the New York story that artists get pushed out of neighborhoods as they get gentrified. But right now, they're getting pushed further and further. There's less places to go," said painter Jessica Dickinson.
But soon, 50 new tenants including fine artists, woodworkers and set designers, will call this space home, paying below market rental prices with long-term leases.
This giant space will be subdivided into individual artist studios that range anywhere between 250 to 4000 square feet.
"Currently in our cohort, we have set build design, building big sets for theathrical production in New York City. And that can't happen in your living room. It has to happen in an industrial space," Robinson said.
The Brooklyn Army Terminal was built in 1918 and became the military's biggest supply base through World War II.
In the last four years, the de Blasio administration has invested $115 million into the terminal to create a center of innovation for the food and fashion industries. And now the arts community can add their names to the list of tenants.
"We believe that art and artists are the soul of the city and need to be supported," said Kristin Sakoda, deputy commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Renovation work is already underway, with an anticipated opening later this year.