Stamford's South End has been home to the Loft Artists Association for the past 35 years. Since 2007, the association has occupied two floors at 845 canal street. But now the artists might lose that space, because of property owner Building and Land Technology's proposed increase in rent.
Cuscuna says the artists wouldn't be able to afford BLT's new price. She says BLT already found other tenants to rent the space.
The group's former president, Lina Morielli, says a verbal agreement in 2006 allowed the loft artists to rent the canal street space at below-market value. The agreement involved former mayor Dannel Malloy and former developer Antares. Morielli said in a phone interview, "As I remember it, I didn't feel it was something that was going to be over in 5 years.”
The Loft Artists feel that a section of the south end zoning regulations supports their right to stay. This section states a minimum of 10,000 square feet of space be used for "cultural institutions, facilities, and organizations…subject to zoning board approval."
According to Cuscuna, and Morielli, BLT says that obligation was fulfilled when more than an acre of land was donated for the construction of the Waterside School.
The Zoning Board will discuss the issue in an upcoming meeting. In the meantime, Cuscuna says the LAA is working hard to find a new space.
*BLT could not be reached for comment at the time this story was published*