Have you heard of Renew Australia? Belle Property focuses on this unique coming together of real estate and art in today’s blog.
Renew Australia is the creative brainchild of Australian arts luminary Marcus Westbury, who along with his team have managed to broker some wonderful arrangements between property developers and artists. Unlikely bedfellows admittedly, who are now ‘renewing’ disused spaces in Australia. The concept behind Renew Australia (and their most successful project to date, Renew Newcastle) is to pump life back into disused urban spaces by getting businesses and artists back in. Newcastle’s Hunter Street mall was formerly a strip of bedraggled, boarded up shop facades before Renew Australia managed to arrange mutually beneficial license agreements between the retail owners and the creatives who have since moved in. Now traditional retailers have moved back to the Hunter Street mall which is re-invigorated with arts projects and a buzz of enthusiastic youth. Renew Australia spaces have been filled with designers, artist-run galleries, zine owners and photographic studios. Renew Australia is a not-for-profit organisation who utilise license agreements (rather than leases) to procure unused spaces for artists. The license agreements suit landlords, as they are on rolling 30 day contracts. Certainly, the landlords don’t garner rent from this arrangement – but their vandalism rates drop and they know their space is being maintained. The newest project for Renew Australia is a space at Nobby’s Point Lighthouse (image inset), which is not only architecturally beautiful but also a wonderful space for new creatives. Stay tuned for more from this unique group, and click here to see some of the work going on in Renew Australia spaces.