of Homestead art hub fueled by ex-Lincoln team
team that revitalized Lincoln Road as a center for the arts plans
an encore in Homestead's historic district.
I. Stanley Levine has assembled a 3-acre campus on Krome Avenue between
Second and Fourth streets that includes a 6,500-square-foot, 350-seat
historic Baptist Church, two classroom buildings with about 23,000
square feet and the Green Stone Motel at 304 Krome Ave.
says Ellie Schneiderman, founder of the South Florida Arts Center,
is turning the site into a center where artists can live, work, teach
pair say they hope the complex, tentatively named ArtSouth, will become
the hub of an arts district that could revitalize Homestead's downtown
that end, Mr. Levine says, he's also buying retail properties along
Krome that could house arts-related businesses.
a sense we are tracking the Lincoln Road experience," he says.
Levine chaired the Lincoln Road Task Force in the mid-'80s, at a time
when the city was ready to open the dying pedestrian mall to traffic.
was a desolate place where nothing was happening," he says.
Levine, who was on the board of the South Florida Arts Center run
by Ms. Schneiderman, was influential in bringing arts and businesses
to the area. He brought Miami City Ballet into a building owned by
his wife, he says, and through the Concert Association of Florida
helped reopen the historic Colony theater.
thing I tried to do with South Florida Arts Center," Ms. Schneiderman
says, "was to provide a permanent, affordable place for artists."
years later, she says, the center is still there, but many of the
original artists are gone, outpriced by the gentrification of the
doesn't really belong to the artists working there," she says,
"but to artists in general. One of the buildings was sold this
past year. That made me nervous."
$3 million in grants funded the Lincoln Road center, Ms. Schneiderman
says. For the Homestead center, "there's no money yet,"
she says, "but it will come. It's in an empowerment zone. The
city will benefit economically from what we are proposing."
Homestead center will be run as a cooperative, she says, "where
there is ownership and pride of ownership for the artists.
intent," Mr. Levine says, "is to sell the studio space as
condos. There is a great deal of interest in that."
Schneiderman says she plans to begin with six artists capable of helping
with the conversion. These original six "will get a really good
incentive on their spaces," she says. "They not only will
have to be juried in by their artwork but also must have ancillary
skills such as carpentering."
says she already has a small waiting list for space.
studios look out on a large parcel of green space, she says, where
she envisions a sculpture garden.
complex will include a strong educational component, Ms. Schneiderman
says "not only for people who are serious about art but
also to provide training for those who might want to learn skills
native to the countries they came from, such as ceramics or furniture-making."
and tourists would stay at the Green Stone Motel, she says, where
she plans to have each room decorated by a different resident artist.
partners say they're convinced their timing is right.
Homestead Sports Complex brings throngs of auto-racing fans to the
area, Mr. Levine says. The Rockefeller Group is building an industrial
park in a recently designated foreign trade zone. A Canadian group
has announced plans to develop a water theme park and redevelopment
of Homestead Air Force Base seems imminent.
is an exciting place for artists to work, to live, to teach, to sell,"
Ms. Schneiderman says. "All the elements are here. There are
campuses for Florida International University and Miami-Dade Community
College. Right behind us is Pioneer Village, a new affordable housing
arts complex "will be a very nice complement to what has begun,"
says Alicia Schreiber, assistant city manager.
says the property lies within an historic overlay instituted in 1994.
was one of our focuses in restoring downtown and doing a Main Street,"
she says. "Our jewel in the heart of downtown is the Seminole
half of an estimated $3.2 million needed has been raised to rehabilitate
the historic art deco theater, she says. Once restored, she says,
it is expected to become a major cultural resource and economic stimulus.
addition, Ms. Schreiber says, the historic district supports about
30 antique shops. Old City Hall, 43 N Krome Ave., is under renovation
and will house a museum on the ground floor.
city is seeking proposals for development of a piece of property at
Campbell Drive and US 1 where city hall sits, she says.
looking to relocate city hall and the library on a 7-acre parcel just
behind Main Street," she says. "We would have a trolley
system to take people back and forth and give it that quaint downtown
Schneiderman, (305) 247-9406; City of Homestead, (305) 247-1801.