“We are picky when it comes to letting groups use our properties for free.” That’s the opinion of Adam Hasson, Senior Property Manager for Samis Land Company, which owns 11 buildings in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.
But when Adam learned about Storefronts Seattle, he didn’t hesitate to make his properties available for artists to use. “What’s special about Storefronts Seattle is that it’s a juried competition for the spaces,” he said. “Landlords don’t want to give away their spaces to anyone who asks. [Storefronts Seattle] is doing all the homework, and this process is very special for us.”
The main motivation for Adam’s participation in Storefronts Seattle is the potential for the program to activate the neighborhood and, consequently, help his other retailers. Adam manages the two storefronts on 2nd Ave (604 and 610), currently used by quilt artist LUKE Haynes and theater director Melanie St. Ours. After a little over two months participating in Storefronts, Adam says it’s important to “keep an active atmosphere at street level and help other retailers. People who come to the Storefronts Seattle spaces are going to the coffee shops and restaurants, they are activating the neighborhood.”
Samis Land Company manages other spaces used by art galleries and temporary art shows, and Adam knows first hand how “art enriches the neighborhood. We’re more inclined to work with groups like that when we rent our spaces,” he said. “Storefronts Seattle has been doing a great job in promoting the neighborhood.”