Saturday, February 25, 2012

City Eyeing Old Saddleblanket For Artspace Project

City Council will introduce an ordinance on February 28, 2012, to transfer the old El Paso Saddleblanket property at 601 N. Oregon to the El Paso Community Foundation in an effort to locate the planned Artspace project at that location. It is located adjacent to the new Doubletree Hotel. The Council will vote on the item on March 6.

The goal is to create a "high density mixed-use, arts-oriented affordable rental housing development on the Property containing studio/work and gallery spaces," according to the ordinance. The City entered into an agreement with the EPCF and Artspace in 2010 to produce a project of this type. It is seen as a project that will improve cultural heritage and that can be a catalyst for nearby revitalization. A preliminary study has shown a market demand for up to 127 units in downtown El Paso. 
601 N. Oregon - Old Saddleblanket Building
Artspace Projects Inc. is an organization which creates these types of developments throughout the United States. From the Artspace website: "Artspace owns and operates 27 projects in 19 cities and 13 states. Twenty-one of the 27 are live/work projects with a total of 922 residential units. The others are non-residential projects that provide space for artists and cultural organizations. Many of the live/work projects also include non-residential space such as studios, offices for arts organizations, rehearsal and performance venues, and space for arts-friendly businesses."
Artspace Project in Seattle