This developer-driven model diverges from the traditional, bottom-up Mural Arts process, which is open to any applicant with a wall and an idea. It’s also a novel approach to creating a sense of place, engineered by Grossman’s Arts & Crafts Holdings. The company entered the neighborhood just last year and bought about a dozen properties in the vicinity of the planned elevated rail park, reflecting an investment of more than $20 million.With it, the developer brings a vision to recast the area – alternately known as Callowhill, Chinatown North, the Loft District, Trestletown, and even Eraserhood (a nod to filmmaker David Lynch) – as Spring Arts, a center for the creative class.
“I’m an art lover, personally and publicly. I know, obviously, the power that it has to ignite change,” Grossman said. He figured art could also attract a new constituency. Branding the area as Spring Arts, making it one big outdoor gallery, “provides it with an identity that area’s been lacking.”
Some longtime residents don’t see it that way.