Synergistic Solutions for the After Times
It is often said that the pandemic is a reset button. A lot of things changed because of it, or are in the process of changing. New thinking grows out of calamity, and this is how ArtHouse serves many needs at the same time.
ArtHouse serves artists:
ArtHouse is a variation on the co-op format, so every tenant contributes a certain number of hours each week to running businesses in our buildings—the galleries, performance venues, bookstores, cafes, and other kinds of public access spaces for city residents and visitors—or by contributing to building operations and projects. The businesses promote the work of tenants, chosen because their work is wonderful, advancing their careers, making them money, and offering great experiences for our clientele.
Our goal is to support and facilitate the creative process, and keep the people who entertain, amaze, beautify, and enlighten in San Francisco. The project buys buildings with the money generated by its businesses, and not from exorbitant rents.
ArtHouse serves small business:
There are currently 17 distressed commercial districts in San Francisco, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development oversees Community Benefit District nonprofits to revitalize these areas. As we told the director of the OEWD, “Everyone who’s lived in San Francisco for many years knows that whenever artists move into run-down neighborhoods, they become fashionable, and then gentrified, so the rents increase, and the artists are forced out.”
ArtHouse will give the creative class places to call home that will not be quickly purchased by institutional investors, keeping vibrant energy alive in city districts, and bringing new life to depressed commercial corridors. This is good for small businesses struggling to remain open, as it brings foot traffic to those areas. It is also good for new businesses to open around places that already attract attention, and when new places crop up, everyone benefits: business owners, consumers, residents who have more available options, and the city, which comes back to life.
ArtHouse serves the tourism industry:
No one has ever done this in America before, so it’s the kind of project that will garner instant international press. It will be a windfall for the huge art tourism industry, hotels and other businesses that serve it, and the art market in general.
ArtHouse serves investors:
There are several ways that this project can serve investors, depending on what motivates them to buy property. A common reason is to purchase something that will be worth more in the future, buying with the intent to re-sell. Others may want to offset capital gains tax or show a loss.
The city released a report that says there are currently as many as 60,000 empty units in San Francisco, although it’s not known how many of those are in buildings purchased for investment. In the interest of expanding the available housing stock, a vacancy tax was passed by San Francisco voters in the fall of 2022. Partnering with ArtHouse reduces vacancy issues, and ArtHouse will contract to buy the buildings at a future date, at the 5 - 8% social impact investment rate of return. Working with us can also make full use of the charitable donation tax deduction.
Entrepreneurs, or investors with a particular interest in art, might want a more hands-on involvement, to be partners in the creation of internationally known venues.
ArtHouse serves human understanding:
Hundreds of academic studies have investigated the power of art in human experience. This work shows conclusively that exposure to art increases life spans, adds to the quality of life, reduces psychological difficulties, and provides other unquestionable advantages. We intend to study the effect of the presence of the artists themselves on the quality of life, and other factors, in the communities where we have buildings.
ArtHouse serves the city:
When the streets hum with creative energy, there’s a subtle, intangible uptick in the quality of life. When a commercial corridor attracts international interest, every business on the street does better. Attracting the international art market benefits the hospitality industry and all businesses that prosper with increased tourism. In establishing this new model, we provide an option to the current exclusionary nature of the rental housing market, enabling gig workers, sef-employed or retired tenants, and of course, artists, to remain in San Francisco. When people work together to make something happen, communities form and alienation diminishes.
ArtHouse serves the world:
How much beauty came out of Florence in the Renaissance? What treasures came from the nexus of genius in Paris in the Belle Epoque? What new art movements could emerge from San Francisco if it were full of artists again?
ArtHouse is good for everyone.