Arts-related Studios, Performance, Instructional, and Retail Spaces are an excellent fit for Rawleigh’s utilitarian yet historic buildings and highly complementary to the arts live-work lofts also being targeted for the project. Freeport has a deep history in the arts including W.T. Rawleigh’s personal collection of 4,000 artifacts amassed from his global travels in the early and mid-twentieth century and later left to the Freeport Art Museum. The community has an active and growing arts community and a survey in 2008 identified a potential demand for more than 30 studios.
WHAT COULD THIS PROJECT LOOK LIKE?
Rawleigh’s concrete and steel construction with exposed brick walls, wide open floors and extensive natural light from every direction provides an ideal setting for a wide range of arts-related spaces including art studio space, performance space, instruction facilities, galleries and arts retail. Private art studios would be rented by sculptors, painters, dance instructors and others in need of flexible access to exclusive space in which to create or teach. Performance space similar to a static, black box theatre would allow artists to quickly adapt performance space to their specific needs. Instructors could host group classes in reserved spaces, showcase the work of students or local artists, and host arts events. An arts supply store would provide resident artists, students and visitors with access to supplies and equipment on-site. Pieces produced on-site could also be made available in this store. Further, because many of these uses require minimal interior improvements, occupancy could occur fairly quickly at minimal expense.
Full architectural and engineering plans for Building E will be developed in 2015, which the City will use to secure funding for renovation and installation of basic systems throughout the structure and the buildout of the ground floor to serve as an Amtrak train station and multimodal center when construction is complete. This will include nearly 15,000 sq. ft. of available tenant spaces on the ground floor, which will be ideal for retail uses, and a similar-sized area on the upper floors, which could support the full gamut of arts-related uses.
The City is currently seeking short and long term uses for Building B and following a plan for a floor-by-floor reoccupation of the building as tenants are identified. Each floor has a net leasable area of approximately 11,500 sq. ft. that can be divided into individual tenant spaces of approximately 500 sq. ft. to 8,000 sq. ft. The general configuration of the building makes it readily adaptable for arts live-work units as well as arts production and instructional space.