May 5 2014 12:00 AM

Local arts nonprofit has officially purchased a vacant lot on Market Street

Founders Cheryl Nickel (left) and Bob Leathers (top right) and new arts administrator Alisunn Curtin stand around the model for a new permanent home.
Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Back in December, CityBeat reported on Space 4 Art's search for a permanent home. The arts organization's leased East Village location, at 15th and J streets, was meant to be temporary-property ownership has always been the goal for the nonprofit, which is dedicated to providing affordable living space for artists. 

Today, Space 4 Art got closer to their goal, announcing that they've officially purchased a vacant lot on the south side of Market Street between 25th and 26th streets in Sherman Heights. ---

The property acquisition, made possible by a loan from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) San Diego, helps clear the path for the eventual construction of Space 4 Art's new, permanent home (a model of which is pictured above). 

The full press release follows: 

San Diego, CA (May 5, 2014) – Space 4 Art is pleased to announce the acquisition of land which will become the new home for their thriving permanent artists live/work and arts center. The deal, supported by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) San Diego, will pave the way for a new facility to expand upon Space 4 Art's success and dramatically increase the number of affordable live/work units, indoor and outdoor performing spaces, galleries, and educational facilities.

"The arts are an essential component of economic and cultural development," said Dr. Barbara Gothard, Chairman Space 4 Art Board of Directors. "And the new Space 4 Art permanent home will be a creative center where innovation, education and community meet."  Currently the site is undergoing a rezoning process, that will influence the construction timeline and it will also impact the acquisition of building permits. Space 4 Art anticipates construction will begin in approximately 18 months.

LISC San Diego provided an acquisition loan to help Space 4 Art close on a vacant lot located on the south side of Market Street between 25th and 26th street in the Sherman Heights neighborhood.  "Space 4 Art's new home will help continue our ongoing neighborhood improvement work in Sherman and Greater Logan Heights," said Edward Lopez, Executive Director for LISC San Diego.  "We're proud to support Space 4 Art and their programs that partner with community groups and schools to ensure arts are an integral element of the surrounding neighborhoods."

Financing real estate projects in low-income communities is one of LISC's core activities. In addition to acquisition loans, LISC provides financing during all stages of projects including predevelopment, construction and permanent loans. 6,000 affordable homes and apartments units built are the result of LISC San Diego's investments in the region since 1991.

Since 2010, Space 4 Art has worked with hundreds of local and national artists to provide affordable artist studios and offer a supportive, encouraging environment for artists to experiment and hone their craft.  Co-Founder, Bob Leathers said, "San Diego's artists will continue to provide the spark that will design, organize, and build the arts center that will serve as Space 4 Art's permanent home for a minimum of 55 years."

The model for the new Space 4 Art permanent facility can be viewed at 325 15th Street, San Diego 92101.


Space 4 Art's temporary home is located in the East Village of San Diego. Space 4 Art's three warehouses contain 32 artist studios, 5 live/work artist studios, two-room exhibition gallery, outdoor performance stage and classroom. Since 2010, regional artists exploring their craft have utilized the space to share their creative ideas and artworks.

Our mission is to support creative centers where artists live, work and interact with their community in an innovative and educational environment.


LISC, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has invested $12.9 billion to build or rehab 298,300 affordable homes and apartments and develop 49 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit

In San Diego, LISC has invested $212 million to support and rebuild communities throughout the region. These investments leveraged another $843 million to build and rehab nearly 6,000 homes affordable homes and one million square feet of commercial, retail and community space in low-income neighborhoods. For more, visit


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