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Artspace Construction to Begin this Year

Credit: Artspace

By Maria Polletta for The Arizona Republic

Artspace, a Minneapolis-based non-profit that works to establish affordable housing and studios for urban artists and creators, will begin construction on a downtown Mesa “artist colony” later this year after securing millions of dollars in state tax credits.

The 50-unit, 71,000-square-foot mixed-use complex will be built on land currently vacant at 155 S. Hibbert. It will offer residential, work and community spaces to practicing artists making 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income.

“This is our first project in the state of Arizona, so we’re thrilled the (state) saw the value in it,” said Heidi Zimmer, Artspace’s senior vice president of real-estate development. “Now that we’ve got the financing in place, we’re pushing for design and construction details so we can start building.”

Artspace and Mesa began discussing a downtown development nearly four years ago, with enthusiasm among downtown residents and community leaders running high. Artspace said it would need a commitment from the state to bring down the project’s roughly $16 million price tag before it could proceed with the plans.

Last year, it applied for low-income housing tax credits, a federal affordable-housing resource administered through the state Department of Housing that enables developers to charge below-market rents. The department announced on June 10 it would award $1.3 million in annual credits to Artspace over 10 years.

Additional funding is coming from the city, community-development organizations and JPMorgan Chase, according to Zimmer.

The project is expected to open in late 2017 or early 2018.

Read more at The Arizona Republic.

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