JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Development in downtown Johnson City continues. Realtor Shannon Castillo said the building at 219 East Main Street has been purchased by a buyer from Asheville.
A new studio and art gallery, which will feature a café, also plans to open in a few months.
It will be called Atelier 133 and will be located at 133 North Commerce Street in downtown Johnson City.
Owner Nancy Fischman said she had her eye on a central location for art in Johnson City since she moved there in 1978.
“I mean I walked into the building and I new this was the place to start something,” said Fischman.
Fischman purchased the building in 2015. It will have 15 studio spaces, an art gallery and a café called Lazy Lady Baking Company.
“As soon as I started announcing my plans was when I started getting inquiries about renting studio space, so there is a big demand,” she said.
Fischman said many spaces have been rented out and a few people are on a waiting list.
Maren Close, Fischman’s daughter, owns the café and bakery. She said they are addressing a need in the community.
“Hopefully, keeping artists in this community too because I know a lot of them tend to leave for bigger cities because we don’t offer the resources here,” said Close.
“We have a lot of really good artists in the area, but we don’t have a really great market for art,” said Fischman. “I think people don’t think about buying art here, they think about going to Asheville or Atlanta and I want to make sure that the local and regional artists who actually live here and work here are recognized.”
In addition, plans are already in the works by the Johnson City Development Authority to put out a pedestrian walkway across the back of the North Commerce Street buildings.
Fischman said they hope to have Atelier 133 finished by the end of March, with a grand opening in the beginning of May.
“It’s kind of the next step in the progress of Johnson City in making art accessible to people,” said Fischman.