In Ybor City, 75 artists will be able to live and work at new Artspace Tampa

The project comes from the Tampa Arts Alliance and developer Darryl Shaw.
A rendering of Artspace Tampa, a project to provide affordable live/work spaces to artists in Ybor City. The rendering is subject to change.
A rendering of Artspace Tampa, a project to provide affordable live/work spaces to artists in Ybor City. The rendering is subject to change. [ Courtesy of the Tampa Arts Alliance ]
Published June 22|Updated June 23

The Tampa Arts Alliance announced this week that after years of planning, the Artspace Tampa project now has a home in Ybor City, thanks to a donation of land by developer Darryl Shaw. The project aims to offer affordable space where artists can live and work.

Located at 1610 E Third Ave., the plan includes a building on the 23,000-square-foot plot of land that will house 75 live/work units, with 2,500 square feet of gallery/amenity space and 3,000 square feet of arts organization space.

According to a news release, the project will “largely be financed by tax credits and supplemented with philanthropic donations.”

According to the Artspace capital budget summary, the total cost for the project is $27 million.

Fundraising for pre-development work still has to be completed. The alliance is fundraising for the remaining $600,000 to move to the next phases of pre-development that will determine the project design, develop a financial model and launch a capital fundraising campaign.

In 2020, under the leadership of the alliance’s chair, Neil Gobioff, an Arts Market Study was implemented. The results, which were released in 2021, determined that there was an “imperative” need for affordable space. The Tampa Arts Alliance secured $150,000 for the first phase of pre-development, which is now complete.

Artspace is a national nonprofit developer of affordable live/work spaces for artists. The Tampa Arts Alliance worked with them to envision Artspace Tampa.

“I’ve been witness to 53 successful projects across the nation,” Artspace Board member and part-time Tampa resident Peter Lefferts said in the release. “Beautiful communities with affordable housing attract and retain creative talent. This talent is the bedrock of thriving cities. Artspace helps communities be more dynamic and attractive.”

There’s been a recent expansion of the arts in Ybor City. In the historic Kress building — which is also owned by Shaw — galleries including Tempus Projects, literary groups, a cinema and the offices of the Tampa City Ballet have formed a collective on the second floor. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is set to open on the ground floor there.

“Cultivating the arts and realizing a wide range of housing options in Ybor City are two critically important goals for our community,” Shaw said in the release. “Artspace moves us closer toward accomplishing both and I’m very excited to see this project continue to move forward.”

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