[intro]Upside of Real Estate Collapse–Better Spaces Available[/intro]
Katya Kazakina keeps us abreast of the gallery world in New York and London on Bloomberg as the strong are taking advantage of weakened real estate market to expand:
Two years after New York art galleries began feeling the pinch of the recession, dealers see an opportune time to expand. New construction and closed businesses have combined to boost supply and force owners to cut rents. Ground-floor rates in Chelsea are down as much as 25 percent, said Brandon Maltzman, a real-estate broker with Conquest Advisors.
In recent months, about 30 galleries, large and small, have taken advantage of the weakened commercial-real-estate market by adding branches or project spaces, or moving into bigger quarters. Some move because their leases expire, others grab attractive opportunities.
“It’s the most movement since the migration of galleries from SoHo to Chelsea,” said Edward Winkleman, art dealer and author of “How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery.”
When Bellwether Gallery went out of business last summer, Andrew Edlin jumped on a chance to upgrade his operation from an unimpressive sixth-floor space in a building housing dozens of galleries to a highly visible ground floor on Tenth Avenue.
“It’s night and day,” he said. “People are flowing in and out of the gallery constantly. They actually walk in and buy work sometimes.”