Northwood building to be demolished, rebuilt for 'Lot 23' artist community

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - At 9 a.m. Wednesday, an auto supply building at 552 Northwood Road will be demolished.  It's being torn down to build up the community.

The building will become a 4,000 square foot space for artists to teach community members of all ages.  Across the street, work is almost complete on the Lot 23 artist residence.  There, artists will pay $400 a month for rent in a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home, in exchange for at least 16 hours every month of volunteer service.

Grace Joyce, Redevelopment Administrator for the City of West Palm Beach CRA, says arts are proven to help children with development.  She believes the project goes beyond that benefit.

"When you bring social services and community service into a neighborhood, and children see that taking place, they become more civic minded," she said.

Jasun Fleurant, an artist who goes by the name "JaFleu," says he grew up not far from the Northwood community.  He believes the community redevelopment will help local youth.

"To see someone who looks like us, who is in the community actually doing something other than the negatives, it's just a highlight.  It just makes you want to fly and go higher," he said.

Another neighboring building will soon be torn down and turned into a shared artist studio for the residents.

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