New Spaces in 520 Lofts Building Designed to Provide Affordable Studio Space for Area Artists
BETHLEHEM, PA, September 12, 2019—A dynamic mix of working artists will soon be among the tenants calling the 520 Lofts in downtown Allentown home as City Center Investment Corp. and ArtsQuest partner on three new “Artist Garages at 520 Hamilton” to support the region’s growing arts community.
Located on the ground level at 520 Hamilton St., the Artist Garages are designed to add to the attractions and amenities of the 520 Lofts residential building, as well as provide affordable studio space for the Lehigh Valley’s working artists. Each space features a glass and aluminum garage door fronting Maple Street, providing a unique opportunity for the community to watch these talented individuals at work.
“City Center is thrilled to partner with ArtsQuest and excited to welcome more artists to downtown Allentown,” says City Center Vice President of Sales and Marketing Jill Wheeler, who helped coordinate the project. “We’re certain their work will attract the interest of those who live, work and visit here and add to the beauty and vibrancy of the downtown.”
The studios include both natural and LED lighting, utility sinks and high ceilings with exposed beams and minimalist décor. As with the resident artist studios at the Banana Factory, ArtsQuest and City Center Investment Corp. will offer the garages for lease at below-market rates in an effort to support local artists and encourage creative individuals to join the fabric of downtown Allentown’s blossoming arts community.
“As the region’s arts community continues to grow, we have seen a marked increase in demand for high-quality, affordable studio space,” says Kassie Hilgert, President and CEO of ArtsQuest, which owns and operates the Bethlehem-based Banana Factory arts center, home to 25-plus resident artist studios. “We are always looking for expanded opportunities to offer to our growing network of artists and this new partnership with City Center Investment Corp. will allow us to do just that, while at the same time creating a new draw for visitors to Allentown’s evolving downtown.”
The Artist Garage sizes are:
Studio 1 – 370-square feet
16-feet wide x 24-feet deep
Studio 2 – 380-square feet
16-feet, 5-inches wide x 24-feet deep
Studio 3 – 435-square feet
14-feet, 9-inches wide by 30-feet, 9-inches deep
Artists interested in applying for one of the spaces must submit an application at www.bananafactory.org. Interested applicants must include a resume, artist statement and bio, as well as examples of their work. Applications and additional information are available at www.bananafactory.org.
About City Center Allentown:
City Center Allentown is a major mixed-use development that is helping transform downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, into one of America’s most vibrant urban communities and a regional center of excellence for business, culture and metropolitan living. With Allentown’s new arena, PPL Center, at its core, City Center includes more than 1.5 million square feet among four Class A office towers, the Renaissance Allentown Hotel, five residential communities, upscale retail and restaurant space and a coworking space called Velocity. City Center’s total investment in downtown Allentown is $455 million, with another $235 million under development and $300 million in the planning stages. In 2017, the Downtown Allentown Revitalization District was honored with a Global Award of Excellence by the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
ArtsQuest is a Bethlehem-based nonprofit dedicated to presenting music, arts, festivals, cultural experiences, and educational and outreach programs that aid in economic development, urban revitalization, and community enrichment. Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center and SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.8 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, approximately 40 percent of which are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $135 million annually in the region.
Information and images provided to TVL by:
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest