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Developers Cling To Artists To Boost Neighborhood Appeal

The presence of artists within a neighborhood has been known to raise its cool factor and aid in establishing trendy communities that appeal to Millennials.

Musician, artist

But as demand grows and rents rise in these hip communities, the very artists that help drive demand are often forced out by high prices. To combat that problem and keep their developments trendy, some developers are willing to trade artists free or reduced rent to stay put.

In February, Chicago’s Magellan Development Group announced its first artist-in-residence contest, where artists compete in front of residents to win a year of free rent, the Wall Street Journal reports. But the rent is not exactly free; in return for their rent the artists are required to perform and offer classes for the other residents.

Magellan national marketing director Jim Losik said the program will turn artists into the latest amenity, and at almost no cost to the developer since new buildings usually have vacancies during their first year. Developers in London and Los Angeles are offering similar programs, which they hope will create authenticity and give their buildings a competitive edge.

Using a different strategy to make themselves stand out, some luxury developments in New York City and San Francisco are offering residents co-working space to cater to colliding work and life habits.