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Old 10-02-2003, 09:37 AM   #1
Lisa Gloria
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Studio start-up advice?

My husband and I have an opportunity to buy a commercial building in the heart of downtown Walbridge (such as it is.)

The building is something like 7500 square feet, and has 2 shopfronts, 2 apartments, and a huge garage for indoor parking. We're going to see it today. There's a 50/50 chance we won't get it.

Has anyone here got experience with commercial studio space, and willing to give advice? What does the artist expect by way of amenities? Is it better to divide the space and refurbish and then rent it, or give a few people the opportunity to stake out prime real estate? I'm envisioning this a lot like the paint studio building at U of I, where we had a lot of very well-used rooms with paint all over the place, north windows, and a couple public spaces that were more or less presentable.

Thoughts? Advice? If you were going to be interested in such a space, what would you like to see?
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:14 AM   #2
Mari DeRuntz Mari DeRuntz is offline
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Lisa, it sounds like a great opportunity.

Amenities - unobstructed north light, room to back up, a sink, and electricity for a radio.
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Old 10-02-2003, 11:26 AM   #3
Lisa Gloria
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Thanks for writing Mari. There is a 200 foot north wall with boarded up (but not bricked in) windows. It faces a public grassy park on that side, which is nice. Hopefully the windows won't be too difficult to open back up.

I forgot to say that one of the storefronts will be converted into a coffee bar (like Starbucks, or some other espresso dive. We can't get Starbucks here. Can you believe it? It's like the stone ages). The coffee bar will go in first, my husband's life long passion. The other 75% of the building will be small gallery, 2 general-use classrooms, and leased studios I hope.

Is there a dream studio? Shared spaces? A lounge for procrastinating? A camera room for shooting art? Color corrected lighting? A string quartet at all times? Sofas? Model stands? Spot lights? Closets for props?

There are large overhead doors for removing big pieces. There will be coffee. Would you think absolute silence is required, or could we have scheduled classes including kids at regular times? How about rhumba lessons? Do I need to soundproof?
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:33 PM   #4
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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I guess I don't quite understand what you're thinking of doing with the space. Is this for you to work in (paint/teach?), or were you thinking of fixing it up and renting it out for other artists?
Michele Rushworth
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