Cool town creative businesses coping with gentrification

The question for creative businesses is not if a cool place becomes popular and gentrified, but what to do when it is.

One answer is to join an artists cooperative and work with a group like Artspace that provides such attainable housing.

Another is to establish your own cooperative of sorts via a beta community, where you decide with a group what kinds of residential and commercial tenants to have, along the same lines as artist cooperatives do.

The best individual answer for your business is to own your space, but if you can’t, then be ready to scale your business as your rent increases. That’s what the Mississippi Pizza Pub did as its Portland OR neighborhood gentrified around it. From an Oregonian interview with the owner:

“When he opened his now-popular nightspot in 2001, the street was mostly “hookers and drug dealers.” Now it’s a thriving neighborhood, full of restaurants, coffee shops, a garden store and a brewpub. “It’s a balance,” [the owner, Philip Stanton] said. “You want an area to change enough to make it safe, but you can’t stop it when you want it to. You lose affordability, but the advantage is that you create a village.”

In the same article, read about businesses that couldn’t scale and had to move cross country.

El Gray>

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