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Soho Residents Are Coming for Their Artist Neighbors

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The Soho/Noho Action Committee, a group led by folks in the real estate industry, has been making plans for a few months now to survey the neighborhoods' lofts. Their motive? To check whether each loft certified under the artist-in-residence zoning law?passed in 1971 to allow for the conversion of about 200 commercial lofts on the condition that each one contain a certified artist?actually still contains an artist. The group has now raised $30,000 for its neighborhood survey, according to the Journal. The survey will probably begin later this month, with the results to be given to City Planning in the fall.

The Action Committee holds that the artists have long since left Soho, and that non-artist residents of AIR lofts shouldn't have to worry about a potential zoning crackdown. The most recent stat comes from a 2009 survey that found 43 percent of 209 Soho dwellers working in the fine arts?but who knows whether illegal occupants of the apartments were telling the truth? This survey hopes to avoid that problem by getting a list of certified artists from the Department of Cultural Affairs and checking whether they still live in the neighborhood. And the loftpocalypse begins!
· Push to Count SoHo Artists Stirs Debate [WSJ]
· Artist-in-residence Law coverage [Curbed]