Marc Séguin has been interested in artists’ studios in Montreal for over 20 years. He was the one who somehow founded “305, Bellechasse”, in Rosemont, a workshop building from which artists were kicked out last year as the new owners chose to renovate the building and renovate the building. “Increase rents.
“In 1998, I persuaded the owners to convert this building into artists’ studios,” he says. When I was working in carpentry, I told them, “Buy me the materials, and I will finish the first floor for you and guarantee that it will be rented out!” We know the rest. Marc Séguin restored all floors. The artists settled down. But the area has changed, improved, and artists have had to leave.
In recent years, as he needed a room for his own needs, he had the idea of finding another artist’s building.
I searched, one thing led to another, and I became interested in Saint Michel, because the artists told me it was one of the rare areas where its prices were still affordable.
He finally found 3333, Crémazie Street, on the edge of the Metropolitan Highway.
To acquire this old industrial building, join the social economics firm Société de développement Angus and the arts-loving real estate developer, Huotco. Then they did a project to get 10+ million, in equal parts between the three. The area of the building is 9300 m2 (100,000 p2).
Some views from space
5e, 6e And 7e The floors are being renovated to provide up to 10 to 12 rooms on each floor. Marc Seguin will take part of the floor and the other spaces will be divided so that, starting next summer, artists, alone or with others, can reach nearly 1,000 square feet.2.
“Often there are two or three artists in each workshop,” says Mark Seguin. Ultimately, there will be between 60 and 80 leases in the building. There may be artists, but also creative galleries or studios with areas that match their needs. ”
The workshops will be offered at a “fixed” rental rate, says Mark Seguin, if we compare what we find on the market. The financing model is based on rents in inflation-related amounts, at $ 12 per square foot (plus taxes).
We are shouting from the rooftops that Montreal is a city of creatives, but in reality, creative people are having a hard time paying the rent. The pandemic did not help matters. Some artists have gone to the countryside, but others have no choice but to stay in town.
Several visual artists residing in Montreal have seen rents increase dramatically in recent years due to speculation on real estate in the capital’s neighborhoods. In the brochure introducing the project, the trio of investors make clear that their project is deviating from the prevailing paradigm.
“Ateliers 3333 is part of a trend observed in many large cities, namely transforming and revitalizing neighborhoods forgotten by the contribution and participation of artists who practice and live there. The innovative approach of the project, which favors long-term maintenance of artists in their workshops at a reasonable cost, makes it possible to meet The usual process of gentrification, which has often helped push artists out of these neighborhoods.
“In Workshops 3333, there will be no speculation,” asserts Mark Seguin, who does not want to see what happened in 305, Belchas repeated again. Once everything is rented out, we will place the building within a nonprofit or cooperative organization so that the artists can manage it themselves. I’d also like us to be able to replicate this model in order to create studio buildings for other artists later. ”
Ateliers 3333 is a 10-minute walk from San Michele Metro Station, and close to ten bus lines, bike paths, parks, shops and restaurants. “An area that will develop to make everyone happy … especially artists,” says Mark Segan.