TONITE: Rare Bird Watching



REAL ESTATE: South St. Not Just For Drunken Fat Tuesday Titty Shows Anymore


[Photo by NDBUTTER]

ASSOCIATED PRESS: A touristy shopping strip is battling the economic crunch by turning over vacant storefronts to artists, hoping the creative community will again breathe new life into a neighborhood it brought back from the brink in the 1970s. The plan is to establish a “creative incubator” on the South Street corridor by giving artists nearly free rehearsal or work space (they pay utilities but no rent) in a high-traffic area they couldn’t otherwise afford — giving their endeavors a wider audience while enlivening a barren building. More than 200 applications have been submitted from musicians, dancers, artists, graphic designers and photographers vying for roughly a half dozen empty storefronts, mainly along five blocks at the eastern end of the strip. “Almost all those storefronts were filled a year ago,” said Bill Curry, a South Street business owner and an organizer of the project. The sagging economy, along with a yearlong construction project that chased away crowds, provided a one-two punch that flattened many businesses, he said. The hope is that art galleries, dance studios, design firms and other shoestring endeavors will develop into successful, rent-paying businesses that re-ignite South Street’s artistic energy in the process. The first five storefronts are slated to open by March. No-rent leases will be signed for two months, with month-to-month renewals, and new empty spaces will be found for the artists if their studio finds a paying renter. MORE

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