Ropes & Gray Pro Bono Team Secures Equitable Rezoning for Artist Studios and Community Arts Center in New York City’s Gowanus
In a landmark agreement designed to ensure the survival of creative communities, Ropes & Gray assisted in securing a community benefits agreement for Arts Gowanus, a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit organization working to support, promote and advocate for local artists and a sustainable arts community. The rezoning agreement provides approximately 150 subsidized artist studios at over a dozen development sites located in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn with a negotiated cost dramatically below existing median artist studio prices in the area.
The CBA also provides for the construction of a 2,000 sq. ft Community Arts Center to be run by Arts Gowanus. The Center will serve as an art exhibition space and as the organization’s headquarters. In addition, the CBA will provide the art studios and the art center in perpetuity even if the properties or future buildings are sold, creating long-term affordability for artists. Several further subsidized studio spaces will be reserved for low-income artists from the community, ensuring Arts Gowanus remains a hub for artist workspaces and connections.
The Ropes & Gray pro bono team that advised Art Gowanus included real estate associates Sally Davis and Rebecca Papilsky (both of New York).