DUMBO — The dream of artists living communally in spacious and affordable loft apartments in Brooklyn's priciest neighborhood is alive on Plymouth Street.
The 50 plus-unit warehouse at 135 Plymouth St. is home to photographers, magicians, artisans, and engineers. Residents say their home is "one of Dumbo’s original and last remaining live/work artist loft buildings."
But with DUMBO rents skyrocketing and the building not legalized for residential use, residents fear that eviction may be on the horizon.
Left to their own devices, these innovative artists are hosting a fundraiser on June 8, complete with bands, magicians, and an aerial show to pay for a legal team to help protect their rental units.
"Please help us keep our homes and community together by joining us for a special night of food, drink and entertainments," tenants wrote on the invite.
Some of the building's tenants have been around since the 1980s when it was rat-infested and cold and slowly renovated their apartments with their own bare hands. But after decades of creating art and community in the lofts residents fear the building's owners wants to evict them to create luxury apartments.
They recently turned down an offer given by the owners of 135 Plymouth St. for 10-year leases because it gave no protections against eviction, according to The New York Times.
Instead, tenants are fighting to claim rights given under the Loft Law. The law was designed to provide rent regulations to people living in industrial spaces and aid the transition from commercial space to code-compliant residential buildings.
Meanwhile residents say they risk losing their homes "for want of funds to pay the team of legal, architectural, fire and engineering experts that it takes to prevail in court."
Their swanky fundraiser will help pay legal fees and takes place on June 8 in two loft apartments and offers hors d'oeuvres, drinks, screen printing, caricatures, mural painting, DJs, and more.
Tickets cost $95 including food & drinks. For more information check out the group's website.