Terri Aldrich, Minot
Jill Schramm's August 29 story about Minot's Artspace compelled me to write in support of this valuable project.
Minot has a unique opportunity, coveted by other cities in the state. The Minot Artspace Lofts will bring 100 construction jobs and anchor the downtown central business district with over 3000 square feet of commercial space and permanently affordable housing for 34 artists and their families.
In 2006 Artspace estimated the cost of Minot's project to be between $8 and $12 million and stated they would raise 85% of the funds. True to their word, Artspace has raised more than 95% of the funding from outside Minot. Total project costs have increased from the $8.4 million reported 6 months ago, to $9.1 million. The $700,000 increase is due to construction costs from site issues and asbestos discovered when Artspace began excavation at the location.
Minot's nonprofit arts industry has a direct economic impact of $9.9 million dollars. (Americans for the Arts- Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 2010 Minot data). We have an opera company, a professional ballet company, a thriving visual arts community that supports The Taube's Artfest and the 62 doors Gallery and we are the smallest city in the nation to maintain a full-scale symphony.
Affordable housing is a desperate community need. Rents in Artspace properties are restricted for 30 years. Minot Artspace Lofts will help artists who are already contributing to Minot's $9.9 million arts industry and build vibrant cottage industries further impacting our economy and the vitality of our downtown far beyond the influx of the initial development dollars.