- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - The owner of a large industrial building near Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood says he plans to convert it into an artists’ colony in which tenants will eventually share in the value of the property if it increases.

The building will be known as CommonWealth or NestEgg, Galapagos Art Space founder Robert Elmes told the Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/1Xm5KC9 . He said artists and other tenants who rent building space will be eligible to receive a distribution of an increase in the building’s value in 10 years.

At that time, he said he’ll refinance and distribute 20 percent of the expected increase in property value to artists residing in the building. Retail spaces, a cafe, a merchandise display area and day care center called “Galapagos Kids!” are planned.

“If we hold this building and turn it into a large community co-working asset, how can the artists benefit over time by being part of this and how can we benefit by furthering our goal which is to reimagine how arts are funded?” he said. “We wanted to merge the value created in real estate and the artists and makers and creators who give it that value.”

The first tenants could move in this year, he said.

Galapagos was based in Brooklyn, New York, and announced in 2014 that it was moving to Detroit and Highland Park. Elmes and his family moved to Detroit last year. The industrial building in Detroit currently is empty after a paper company moved out last month.

“We fell in love with that building,” he said. “We thought, ‘What are we going to do with this building?’ It’s not stripped, it’s in great shape. We debated for a long time what we would do with it.”





Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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