If you're an artist, there's a chance you've heard of Paducah, Kentucky. If not, you should. The city of Paducah implemented a fantastic incentive program back in 2000 called the Artist Relocation Program, and placed the arts at the center of their economic development strategy. The impact arts have on the local economy cannot be understated. In fact EWU just completed an analysis of the fiscal impact the arts have on Spokane's economy. But Paducah's approach is really quite unique and one we should bring to town.
The foundation of Paducah's Artist Relocation Program is to encourage artist ownership in the community-namely real estate assets which they own, thus giving them a huge stake in the community. They've accomplished this by targeting a specific area of town that needed revitalization and is zoned for mixed use development. They then offer the following specifically to artists:
- 100% financing for purchase and rehabilitation of an existing structure or the building of a brand new structure.
- Basic loan package is 7% - 30yr. fixed rate up 300% of appraised value.
- Free lots for new construction as available.
- City will pay up to $2500 for architectural services or other professional fees.
Pretty impressive for such a small town. To date they've recruited over 70 artists to their city, and with a national ad campaign more are likely to hear about it and make the leap. Check out the website and browse the available properties and lots.