The City of Holyoke has launched an initiative to assist property owners in the Center City who want to rehabilitate their spaces for artistic, performance and other creative economy uses. Through this Change of Occupancy Determination Evaluation (CODE) Services Program, the City will be providing a handful of building owners with an analysis of which building, fire and other applicable codes would be required for their intended chance in use, along with an estimate of the related costs.
“People often hesitate to start spending money on an idea when they don’t have a clear indication of its feasibility” said Marcos Marrero, Director of Planning & Economic Development. “This program should provide valuable insight into the physical and monetary feasibility of changing a space towards artistic and creative uses.
Applications to the program are available now and due to the Office of Planning & Economic Development by October 9th, 2013 by 11AM. Approximately 5 successful applicants are expected based on available funding under the program. They will be selected by a committee comprised of staff from the Office of Planning and Economic Development, Building and Fire Departments as well as the City’s hired architect, Kerry Dietz.
“We know there are people throughout the City who are interested in converting unused space into more artist live/work space, performance space or restaurants” said Jeffrey Bianchine, Creative Economy Coordinator, “Some of them just need start-up help, determining the complexity of a project like that. That’s where CODE Services comes in; they’ll be able to get that assistance from the City.”
CODE Services was made possible by a recent $20,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to the City of Holyoke to foster the creation of more artist live/work space and other spaces for creative economy uses.
The selected building spaces will be within the Urban Renewal Plan area, planed for creative economy uses, have ownership with capacity to complete the proposed project and complement the City’s economic development strategy. CODE reports should be completed by the end of the year.
Interested parties should download an application at www.HolyokeRedevelopment.com and submit a completed copy to BianchineJ@holyoke.org