(COLORADO SPRINGS)— The arts community is a big part of what makes Colorado Springs special.

That’s why the focus of a new project aims to keep artists and creators here, offering low-cost apartments and studio space.

Artspace Colorado Springs broke ground on Friday at the site on 315 E. Costilla Street, located in the Creative District downtown.

Construction will soon start to transform an old building into a 51-unit affordable apartment complex, where artists can live and work.

“Painters, musicians, chefs, tattoo artists, dancers, all the people who really enliven Colorado Springs and make it such a great place to live. They’ll have an affordable place to be creative,” said Susan Edmondson, President & CEO of Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership.

Artspace will be home to dozens of artists and Colorado Springs’ creatives once opening in 2024.

There will be one and two bedroom, multi-family units. The building will also be home to about 20 individual artist studios and other mixed-use spaces.

“I’m an artist. I work in stone and steel and water and concrete. It was really through discussions that I had with other artists and it became clear that housing was becoming an ever challenging issue,” said Bob Wolfson, a local artist and leader on this project.

This housing complex will be for the creative community making 60% or lower of Area Median Income.

Artspace grew out of a grassroots effort led by the Colorado Springs Downtown Development Authority.

Project leaders say there’s a need to attract graduate students and young artists to help keep the next generation of creative workers here in Colorado Springs.

“Sometimes artists are the very first to be priced out of a community. And so it’s so important for us to show our creatives that they matter,” said Edmondson.

Construction plans will preserve this historic Spanish-style building, keeping it as a main focus for the new five-story Artspace building downtown.

The majority will be new construction built to the standards of 2020 Enterprise Green Communities, with photo-voltaic capacity and EV-ready parking spaces.

Click here to learn more and keep track of the construction timeline.