PS109 Affordable Live/Work Housing
East Harlem, New York City

Developer Qualifications

Artspace Projects

Established i 1979 to serve as an advocate for the space needs of artists in the Minneapolis' historic Warehouse District, Artspace effectively fulfilled that mission for nearlhy a decade. By the late 1980s, however, it was clear that the problem required a more proactive approach, and Artspace made the leap from advocate to developer. Since then, the scope ofArtspace's activities has grown dramatically. Artspace is now a national leader in the field of developing affordable space for artists through the adaptive reuse of old warehouses, schools and commercial buildings.

Artspace's first three live/work projects were in Saint Paul. Since then, Artspace has completed live/work projects in Duluth, MN; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Reno, NV; Galveston, TX; Chicago, IL; Seattle, WA; Fergus Falls, MN; Bridgeport, CT; Mount Rainier, MD; and Houston, TX. In all, these 14 projects represent more than 560 live/work units.

In the mid-1990s, Artspace broadened itsw mission to include non-residential projects. The first of these transformed an historicd bakery in the Minneapolis Warehouse District into 24 studios for mid-career artists. Other non-residential projects include the Minnesota Shubert Performing Arts and Education Center, a $37 million, three-building cultural complex in downtown Minneapolis. When completed in 2008, it will serve as a performing home for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and more than 20 small and midsize dance, music, and theater groups.

Over the Last few years, Artspace has evolved from a Minnesota organization with a few national projects into a trly national organization based in Twin Cities. Artspace now has 15 projects in development or predevelopment in more than a dozen states. Artspace's national consulting program has helped communities in nearly every state address their arts-related space issues. The nature or the organization's work is evolving, too, to include multiple -facility projects, long-range planning, and arts districts.

Artspace is led by L. Kelley Lindquist, its chief executive since 1987. Under his leadership, Artspace has grown from a staff of one and an annual budget of $600,000 into the nation's leading nonprofit developer of space for artists with a staff of 35, a budget of $10 million, and stewardship of 18 major projects in nine states containing more than 1.5 million square feet of residential, studio, office, reherasal, and performance space. Mr. Lindquist's expertise has made him much in demand as a consultant and speaker, and he is frequently invited to speak at national and internatiional conferences on the role of artists and arts facilities in urban revitalization.

Artspace's mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations.

El Barrio's Operation Fightback

During the winter of 1983, a group of concerned tenants in East Harlem were waging a battle not only against substandared living conditions, but also against drug dealers intrenched in their four-story tenement building. The removal of these drug dealers ;proved a lengthy and difficult process. Refusing to accept a defeat in Housing Court, the tenants p;ushed forward with community action. The effort came to be known as El Barrio's Operation Fightback.

After seven years of tenant organizing, EBOF took on its first rehabilitation p;roject. Pleasantville Apartments, a 45-unit building completed in 1992. Since then, EBOF has renovated 30 buildings, creating 378 affordable rental housing units and 14 commercial spaces. EBOF recently completed its first project involving new construction, a 42-unit building.

In addition, EBOF has:

  • Sponsored and marketed the building of 30 two-to-three family houses for first-time home-buyers.
  • Provided a variety of tenant and community services in East Harlem.
  • Operated the Advantage After-School Program at P.S. 206.
  • Run the Family Advocacy Program.
  • Established and oerated three community centers.

EBOF is led by Exective Director Gustavo "Gus" Rosado, an East Harlem native who has devoted the last quarter-century to community service, including youth programs, senior citizen programs, and housing development. As one of the founders of Operation Fightback, he has overseen EBOF's two-decade growth from a $20,000 annual operation to a major organization that has developed more than $14 million in housing for the East Harlem community.

EBOF's mission is to renovate, manage, and providee affordable housing, supportive services, education, advocacy and economic development opportunities to low-income families in East Harlem in order to support families and promote neighborhood development.