Business developers offer help to local art gallery

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The creative spirit in the Arts District fades as artists are priced at high rent, but two business developers are helping an art gallery owner maintain this rent-free spirit.

Priscilla Fowler moved to the Arts District in 2016. She opened her gallery, Priscilla Fowler Fine Art. She’s moved from place to place, but her newest space near Main Street has been busy.

In February, his rent doubled.

“I had a three-year lease, I had a pretty good deal on that lease, but when they doubled it, it was beyond what I could imagine,” Fowler said.

She searched for a new space, but this task was difficult.

“There are a lot of vacant buildings and vacant land and we have inquired. I used a very good real estate agent who knew commercial real estate. She did a lot of inquiries and often people would say – oh no, we’re waiting for another brewery or another restaurant because they can pay more,” Fowler said.

Fowler signed on as the new tenant at 1501 S. Commerce Street. The property is being renovated by developers Gary Creagh Senior and Gary Creagh Junior. Since the Creaghs recently acquired a small house near South Commerce, they thought why not lend it to Fowler in the meantime?

“Having a vacant building with a for rent sign on doesn’t help anyone,” Creagh Junior said.

Fowler used the money she would rent for quick renovations and turned the space into an art gallery.

“Oh, I’m incredibly grateful. They seem to have a completely different attitude towards providing space for creatives than everyone else,” Fowler said.

The Creaghs began buying properties in the Arts District in April 2015.

The building they are renovating on the corner of Utah and South Commerce is a 17,000 square foot space where nine new tenants have signed up, including three art galleries.

“With the six properties that we have here, we have I think it’s 18 new businesses that will open now until the end of the year. The nine that he mentioned, and then we have a building at the base that we’re building in Main and Colorado. We’re going to have a concert hall, a brewery, a tapas bar and a whiskey bar there,” said Creagh Senior.

Creagh Jr. said it was to make sure artists weren’t shut out of the market.

“You have to balance out the artists, make sure they’re not overpriced in the market they’ve created and at the same time we can recoup our investment to fix all these buildings and that’s a tightrope to walk, but we believe this can be done by listening to tenants and giving them time. They will benefit from increased income when the whole area is repaired. We want them to pay more rent – I’ll be honest with you, but at the same time we want them to sell more paintings and make more money. rope and not try to come in and go 0-100,” Creagh Jr. said.

From March through July, Fowler will use the 1,400-square-foot “bungalow” for free, helping his business stay alive. She hopes the city of Las Vegas can take notes from other arts districts in cities like Austin and Salt Lake City.

“If they had looked at what other cities were doing, they might have done some things with zoning, they might have taxed landlords who have been sitting on empty properties for a while, there’s a lot things they could be doing that they just don’t know they should be doing,” Fowler said.

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