Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another loft article (and more Pooh)

Wow, that's two in less than a week... This one's from the Pioneer Press. Some highlights:
"It's like a border town," said JoAnne Makela, a poet and one of the first residents of the Carleton Artist Lofts, which opened last month. "There's a little bit of the grit. It is so industrial, with all the big trucks and the train station nearby. But it has this city feel and it's pretty fascinating — the whole idea of all this commerce and all of this real work going on behind you."

For the first time, urban enthusiasts say, a new identity is emerging for this orphaned intersection that seemed removed from the leafy, historic neighborhoods of St. Anthony Park in St. Paul and Prospect Park in Minneapolis...

... Yet the biggest threat, Rast said, is if development eventually pushes out the artists who turned it around.

"This cannot be hip and cool without the artists," she said. "If the artists leave, you have another cookie-cutter neighborhood."

Which is why the $60 million Carleton lofts are getting enormous attention, from both arts advocates and the development world. Three brownstone warehouses that once served the Johnson Bros. liquor-distribution complex are steadily being reshaped into live/work spaces, primarily targeting artists who meet affordability requirements.

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