12th Avenue Arts

Community Roots Housing Foundation

Funding Received: 2013
Seattle, WA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
April 16, 2014

Too successful? A massive market rate housing project comes to the Arts District; photo by Michael Seiwerath

With conversations on Seattle’s Capitol Hill pointing towards forming an arts district, it was perfect timing for us to attend the ArtPlace America Grantee Summit in Los Angeles.
During the summit, we toured the city’s Arts District, just south of downtown. In what was an underutilized warehouse district, the city of Los Angeles changed the zoning code to allow for live-work spaces favored by many artists.

Recent Wins
Downtown Los Angeles and the Arts District are undergoing a massive investment. After decades of underinvestment, resources and residents are pouring into the central city—but it’s a mixed blessing. The Southern California Institute of Architecture is getting a new neighbor in a massive market rate apartment building, under construction now. It will bring new residents to a community with few, but it likely won’t be students from the architecture school who can afford to live there.

In the Los Angeles Arts District, the buildings are activated and the artists are in residence, but now they are starting to get pushed out. The conversation in Los Angeles has moved to affordability—how can more affordable apartments and artist housing be built—and how quickly?