City Arts Apartments are the newest addition to artist housing within the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.
Located on the corner of East Oliver Street and Greenmount Avenue, City Arts offers onsite parking, free wifi, a well equipped fitness center and gallery space to its tenants in addition to spacious studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments.
Some apartments contain “slop sinks” in the living area to help clean up after bigger messes, and high ceilings and big windows in all of the apartments allow for lots of natural light.
“City Arts tried really hard to make sure that all it offers is what artists want,” said Patricia Adams, a project manager from Jubilee Baltimore Incorporated, one of the three non profit housing organizations in charge of the whole operation. The other two are Homes for America and TRF Development Partners.
The goal of the housing project was to provide secure housing for artists in Baltimore through City Arts to help the Arts community in Baltimore grow and thrive.
Stuart Watson, a resident in the Area 405 building located directly across the street from City Arts agrees.
“It’s the power of the city committing to the needs of artists and recognizing that we do contribute to make Baltimore a better place and a place that people want to be.” Watson said.
The building’s classification as low-income housing helps draw in artists of all types. Tenants must meet income requirements to be eligible for housing in any of the building’s 59 units with rents starting as low as $619. They must also have their work reviewed by a committee to show their creative pursuits, allowing for different types of artists to take up residency.
Also, since City Arts is federally funded, legal requirements prohibit the building from raising its rent for 50 years. This enables artists to stay without having to worry about rent or property increases like tenants in some of the nearby artist residences.
“It’s sad that some of the people who own some of the buildings don’t try to protect the artists that live in it,” said Ashby Foote, City Arts’ marketing director. “City Arts hopes to help the developing community of artists thrive without having to worry about the cost of living.”
Not only are the needs of its future tenants important to City Arts, but it’s the needs of the surrounding community that’s important as well. One of their goals is to the tighten the bonds among City Arts’ tenants, people from the other artists residences like the Copycat and Annex and residents of the Station North Arts District in general.
One way City Arts plans to get their tenants involved in the community surrounding the building is by promoting sustainability and community involvement by encouraging tenants to help maintain one of the three vegetable gardens located within the district. One garden even contains a chicken house.
The gardens are open to anyone who wants to take from them, and they are all maintained through volunteers within the community so it’s not restrictive to only artists.
This fuels interaction between everyone in within the district so it’s seen more as a neighborhood instead of a district.
“I’ve been around for about eight and a half years and have watched the neighborhood change so I’m excited to have neighbors again,” Watson said. “And even better that they’re artists with a similar vision.”
Tour the unfinished City Arts building and watch an interview with City Arts’ Marketing Director, Ashby Foote!
**City Arts is now complete! Check it out to learn more!