[Hpn] Kicking it at the Washington Shoe building

Anitra Freeman anitra@speakeasy.org
Sun, 30 Apr 2000 19:12:13 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 30 Apr 2000, unclescam wrote:

> wow......
>      a question or two. how many artists were in this building for how
> long ? commercial artists or real ones ? 

There were 90 low-income artists up until eviction notices were issued.
(The building is being renovated for dot.com offices, with a mega-condo
on the top floor.)

> i've been involved with several
> loft/industrial buildings and was always under the impression that real
> artists start the squat, commercial artists jump at the cachet and ruin it
> for the rest by yupping the joint into being noticed as a viable rental
> site. this drives out the original "squatters" either thru higher rents or
> the closing of the building for renovations the commercials can afford. is
> this the occurance here ?

That is a very common story, I agree.  Here in Belltown, though, we
have a case of developers moving in on *everything" -- churches,
missions, low-income housing, small stores, low-rent office space -- and
turning it into new condos, boutiques, high-tech offices and fancy

>       a third, has to do with the homelessness of the artists. are there
> now homeless artists due to this eviction or did they all find places to
> be themselves and just lose studio space?

I'm not sure about all of them, but I know some are now homeless.  They
were living and working in their space.

What I've also been told is that by local law a landlord who evicts
tenants so that the property can be renovated has to provide relocation
assistance.  It's part of the expense of renovation.  The owners of the
Shoe building are trying to get around this by insisting that nobody
there is a legal tenant.

Write On! / Anitra L. Freeman / http://www.speakeasy.org/~anitra/
"Never doubt that a small group of imperfect people can improve the
world--indeed they are the only ones who ever have." Not Margaret Mead