Arts foundation secures property in Gravois Park for affordable - KMOV.com

Arts foundation secures property in Gravois Park for affordable artist housing

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The Kranzberg Foundation has secured 12 homes and 13 lots with plans of turning them into affordable housing and studio spaces. (Credit: Kranzberg Arts Foundation) The Kranzberg Foundation has secured 12 homes and 13 lots with plans of turning them into affordable housing and studio spaces. (Credit: Kranzberg Arts Foundation)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A  new housing plan is coming to St. Louis, and constitutes the next step in the rejuvenation of the Gravois Park neighborhood. 

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation, along with Incarnate Word Foundation and the Regional Arts Commission, has secured an option to buy 12 buildings and 13 vacant lots in the neighborhood, with plans to turn the properties into affordable housing and studio spaces for artists.

Amanda Colon-Smith, director of the Dutchtown South Community, said the organization partnered with local artists to beautify the buildings, painting the boards on the vacant buildings. 

"It's a thriving arts community. Cherokee Street is very vibrant but now there's an opportunity to root those artists further in the community by providing access to home ownership for low income and moderate income artists," said Smith.

The hope is to build wealth and equity through home ownership for low-income artists.

Kranzberg Arts Foundation says it's still early but now that they have secured the properties from the LRA, they can begin moving forward. 

"Now that the options are secure, we can move forward to formalize our project and program plans. More details on the project, and how artists can apply, will be made available in the coming months," said Chris Hansen, the executive director of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation. 

The properties are location in the Gravois Park and Dutchdown neighborhoods on streets like California, Oregon and Nebraska.

Some of the vacant properties are in serious disrepair and have been owned by the city for decades. 

Alderman Cara Spencer says they have been working on this concept for the last year. 

"It's a huge investment for the neighborhood," said Spencer.

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