The dance between art and real estate is becoming more of a frenzy as developments front Joburg to Buenos Ares to Vero Beach and Miami are all cropping up around or pivoting upon Contemporary art, according to the FT:
According to New York-based property consultant Jonathan Miller, “luxury real estate is the new global currency”, and developers are turning to culture to give their projects a competitive edge. From South Florida to South America to South Africa, cultural fairs and arts centres are becoming crucial components of urban residential developments. Whether evolving organically, as in Miami’s Design District and Panama City’s Casco Viejo, or wholly integrated into master-plans, as on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island and Hong Kong’s West Kowloon quarter, “culture is helping to create and establish a location’s identity, while stabilising and increasing its long-term value”, Miller adds.
But the pas de deux between high culture and high-end property is also spinning the other way as upmarket real estate provides the funding – and audience – for culture itself. Take Panama City’s 340-year old Casco Viejo. Here, where Spanish-colonial cathedrals abut beaux-arts-era maisonettes – US developer KC Hardin is building luxury condominiums intended for foreign buyers alongside low-cost studios and living spaces for local artists. “Our goal is to finish one affordable housing unit for every high-end condo,” says Hardin, a former New York corporate lawyer whose premium properties range from $300,000 to over $1m (available through Arco Properties). “Keeping artists in place is the only way to maintain an area’s authenticity and attract a critical mass of visitors,” he adds.
The Art of Good Living (FT-How to Spend It)