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As neighborhoods like North Park, Barrio Logan and East Village continue to grow and develop, the artists and craftspeople who once inhabited cheap spaces there are being priced out.
But now, a group of artists and designers who lost their studio spaces in Barrio Logan last year is gearing up to open a huge new warehouse for creative folks. They’re turning a 12,000-square-foot warehouse at 2031 Commercial St. in Logan Heights into studios for artists and craftsmen, co-working offices and an event venue.
Sarah Anderson, Kristin Dinnis, Brook Dailey and Brittany Wiczek are the women behind San Diego Made, a coalition of local artists and craftsman who have been staging shopping events at various locations in the region since 2014.
Union Barrio Logan closed in 2017. The building’s leaseholder wanted to pre-empt citations from the city related to illegal construction inside the warehouse. When that happened, the San Diego Made crew, who were all subletting studios inside the warehouse, doubled down on efforts already underway to find a permanent home for their growing coalition.
“When Union closed, we realized the extensive amount of work we were going to have to do to get permits,” said Dinnis, a clothing designer who specializes in ballroom gowns. “The hardest, most stressful, scary, intense part of this whole process was the permitting. … But doing it right was really, really important to us.”
They have cleared most of the permitting hurdles and are planning to start construction on the space in coming months, they said. The hope is to be open by spring of 2019. They’ve secured a loan, but will also soon be launching a crowd-funding campaign to help cover some of the construction costs.
Anderson, a woodworker who builds custom furniture and fixtures, said they also have plans to make the building a resource center. They want to host seminars and workshops that can help people turn their hobbies or passions into sustainable careers. She said just having a place to create, plus talk to other like-minded people, is a valuable resource itself.
Writing the weekly Culture Report is one of the highlights of my gig here at Voice of San Diego.
I love digging up stories about San Diego’s arts and culture scene and pulling together the rest of the week’s cultural news for a loyal and steadily growing list of subscribers who care about keeping creativity alive in our region.
But this will be the last Culture Report I’ll write. Thanks so much for reading my words, folks.
It’s my last week here at VOSD. Next week, I start in my new role as KPBS podcast producer and project coordinator. Those of you who know me well won’t be surprised. Podcasting is my jam. I’ll miss the Voice crew, of course, and I’m grateful for my time here, but the opportunity to follow my podcast passion was just too exciting to pass up.
Don’t be too alarmed, though. The plan is to keep the Culture Report going. It may go on hiatus in coming weeks, but the VOSD team will be working to bring it back.