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The impact of public art on real estate values

By Mike Wheatley | April 27, 2018

Experts are linking public art to construction booms and price increases in residential real estate. With mounting evidence of this link arising, city planners and developers are looking to integrate art projects with new real estate developments and public spaces.

Sculpture at the Millennium Park, Chicago

“Developers are beginning to see that if they want to attract tenants, they have to offer them more than just four walls,” Barbara Goldstein, a public art planner and consultant in San Jose, California, told “We’re going to see more and more of this kind of thing.”

The affect of art on real estate prices is already evident in numerous U.S. cities. In Chicago for example, the prices of condos located close to its Millennium Park, which features open-air galleries and interactive public art, skyrocketed. One study by study by URS and Goodwin Williams Group credited Millennium Park for driving $1.4 billion worth of residential development in the city.

Elsewhere in Washington D.C.’s northeastern Brookland neighborhood, there’s a new five-block mixed-use development called Monroe Street Market, which includes two buildings devoted to art studios. These studios feature glass doors and are part of a larger art walk in the community project. The opening of Monroe Street Market helped home prices in the area to jump 26.2 percent in three years, from a median of $474,000 in 2014 to $598,400 in 2017.

New York City also has its own art attraction called the High Line, a one-mile park that reclaimed an abandoned elevated railroad track and transformed it into a tourist attraction. Various artworks are featured in the park, which attracts 1.3 million visitors annually. Prices for real estate near the park have soared since it was opened in 2014.

“People really want to be near these great, iconic places or things that make a city recognizable,” Scott Stewart, executive director of the Millennial Park Foundation in Chicago, told “A lot of these spaces where you’ve created something spectacular out of something less than desirable … those are attractive. They naturally draw people to them.”

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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