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Letter: Artspace at Hudson would be good for everyone

To the editor,

A Hastings partnership with Artspace to redevelop the Hudson property would be good for all of us. Artspace has a perfect 30-year history of success. They never come back to a community requesting additional financing, never leave projects half finished or partially occupied. Completed Artspace projects remain fully occupied with positive revenue flows. Artspace projects attract young, creative people to communities and entrepreneurship and youthful vibrancy follows. Artspace projects put communities and neighborhoods on the map.

The current stage of a possible Artspace project in Hastings is the completion of market research to determine if an Artspace project would work in Hastings. HPAAC has requested $30,000 from The Saint Paul Foundation to complete this research. The foundation’s decision is made late November and the study could commence after the holidays for spring completion. At that point, if the research points to success, the decision to proceed with a partnership with Artspace could be made by HEDRA. Other timing factors in Artspace’s preliminary time include; approval by the National Parks Service, designation as a historic site(to secure tax credits), approval by government agencies for housing tax credits, selection of final designs, architects, contractors, commercial tenants, etc.

Artspace as a nonprofit developer creates community owned projects that require high significant citizen involvement during all steps of the process, which also takes time. As a national organization, Artspace very carefully selects two to three new projects a year, in all of the United States. (One current project is a $56 million school renovation in Manhattan.) Hastings, along with the trails, the river, other riverfront development and historic pride, would be ideal for a landmark Artspace partnership.

Success follows careful and thoughtful planning. Communities, large and small, have unused, underdeveloped and abandoned community development projects along with many successes. A Hudson building reuse study, commissioned by HEDRA, raised caution and concerns about moving too fast. HPAAC hopes we can be a part of offering Hastings one model, one approach to a successful development.