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Gene Kaufman Takes Break From Hotels To Build, Um, Studios

Construction has started on an East Williamsburg development that will house 50 to 60 live/work artist studios. The building coming to the corner of Bogart Street and Johnson Avenue is designed by prolific architect of blah hotels, Gene Kaufman. The architect's designs don't usually pull any punches—100 Bogart's doesn't either—but the deadpan building designer's insights into the project are surprisingly refreshing. As quoted by Bedford and Bowery, Kaufman explained 100 Bogart Street,

This project reverses the all-too-familiar cycle of artists' rescuing a neighborhood only to be pushed out, victims of their own success. By making the creative community an integral part of the long-term plan for the area and recognizing their value as a built-in economic generator, projects like this are changing the nature of urban transformation in New York City. A big part of whether the development will succeed will be due to how the studios are priced, which has yet to be revealed. The building will be six stories, cover 56,000 square feet, and, according to B+B, have heavy floor loads, extra-large elevator bays, and strategically placed stairs. There will also be ground-floor retail. In an earlier interview, Kaufman mentioned that the building's design was inspired by the new David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea.

With its head start, it seems unlikely that developer Vlat LLC will be taking advantage of capital funding from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. In his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan within his affordable housing agenda to build 1,500 artist studios by 2024, WNYC reports.

As of now, the existing building at 100 Bogart Street has been bulldozed. Here's a look at the site, courtesy of Brownstoner.

· As City Plans Live-Work Space For Artists, Developer Starts Building Studios [B+B]
· De Blasio to Unveil New Artist Housing, Workspace [WNYC]
· Gene Kaufman-Designed Artist Studio Building in Bushwick Breaks Ground ['Stoner]