Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008 | Cheryl Nickel, a sculptor and a landscape architect, has lost artist friends from the center of the city. It was too expensive for them to live in metropolitan San Diego and still create, so some moved to Valley Center, others to Vista. Others, unhappy with the prospects of moving to the boonies, left the county entirely.
The city has had a share of neighborhoods hit with New York City’s “SoHo Effect,” she says. The creative pockets where artists live attract development and developers that raise the cost of living in that pocket, forcing artists out.
“It’s those kind of creative people that are the magnets to those areas, making them cool and hip, and then the cool and hip people can’t afford to stay there anymore,” she says.
She’s seen that happen here, as shining condo towers and their associated development sprang up this decade downtown and in Little Italy and East Village, shooting up the cost of land and rents and homes for purchase.
So Nickel has teamed up with some artists and art-group organizers to launch an effort to develop affordable living space for artists in the city of San Diego.
“Some artists enjoy working in isolation; most of them don’t,” she said.