Many people are upset by the recent rumors of an affordable housing complex specifically for artists proposed next to the Stanley Theater in Utica.

An organization known as Artspace, which is involved in a number of projects across the state, has presented a vision to build a 40 unit apartment complex to be completed by 2023 for a cost of $12.5 Million.

According to the Artspace website,

Now in predevelopment, Artspace Utica will be a catalytic project to address critical affordable housing and economic development opportunities for the creative workforce, constructed on a lot at the intersection of the Commercial and Arts & Cultural Districts downtown.

The website also cites a series of studies 'local leaders' commissioned Artspace to conduct dating back to 2015. Artspace says, "findings from nearly 600 surveyed indicating a substantial need for space to both live and conduct creative work downtown." As a result this project materialized and is in the works, but may not be a done deal.

Utica Council-at-Large candidate and former council member Samantha Colosimo-Testa says she believes the property on which Artspace wants to build this complex still needs to be sold to them by the current owner, the City of Utica. Opponents to the project hope it doesn't come to fruition due to the already limited parking spaces for the area restaurants and entertainment venues in the downtown area.

Artspace's proposed artist housing would be built right where the parking lot is to the right of the Stanley Center for the Arts, in front of the Lotus Garden Restaurant and to the left of the Tallman's Tire location. While the idea of this project may be a good one, the question that needs to be answered is if it's the RIGHT location for the project. What are your thoughts?

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