Space to Create Ridgway

May 2022 Update on Ridgway Space to Create

Space to create logos
Space to Create View - Clinton St looking east - Sept. 2020

RENTAL APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE HERE AND ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED!!! There are three ways to submit your completed application:

  1. In-person during the two-day application kick-off event at Ridgway Town Hall (May 2nd and May 3rd)
  2. Via email to
  3. Via USPS Mail to: 748 Cedar Creek Avenue, C/O Leasing Office, Montrose, CO 81401

Please note: There is a non-refundable application fee for each applicant. Online and USPS applicants will be contacted for payment prior to review of their application. 

Artspace hosted the first online leasing information session for Ridgway Space to Create on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. Attendees learned about the upcoming opportunities for residential leasing, and how to apply. Attendees also received the latest updates on the project and met the project team supporting the leasing process. Click here to check out the recording from that leasing information session! Artspace and the Town aim to evolve the facility into a creative community.  Due to LIHTC rules, income eligibility will be the primary factor in the selection of residents, and no creative portfolios will be required in the application process.

The construction process continues for this workforce housing development at 675 Clinton St. in downtown Ridgway!  Construction is anticipated to take a full year. Artspace, as developer, contracted with Stryker & Co. from Montrose as the general contractor.  After years of public meetings and community involvement, dating back to 2016, Ridgway Space to Create has evolved into Ouray County's first low-income housing facility, and the need for it has only grown stronger during this time.

The largest portion of funding for this project came from federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financing after two applications by Artspace, supported by the Town, to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.  The State Department of Local Affairs, Boettcher Foundation, and Colorado Creative Industries have also committed major resources, assistance, and funding to this effort.  Without these entities, a small rural town like Ridgway would be hard-pressed to implement such a project. The Town is grateful to its local partners as well for their long-term involvement:  Region 10, San Miguel Power Association, Weehawken Creative Arts/Ridgway Chautauqua Society, and the Telluride Foundation.

The facility design includes 30 rental units, mostly one-bedrooms and some two-bedrooms. First floor spaces fronting Clinton St. will allow for a variety of community uses.  For details on approximate income eligibility and rental rates, based on federal guidelines and Area Median Income, see the slide presentation from the Sept. 17, 2020 public meeting.

Ongoing Public Meetings: Last Wednesday of every month, starting October 27, 2021, 5:30 - 6:15p
Topic: Monthly Space to Create Project Update with Stryker & Company       
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Background Information

What is Space to Create Colorado? 

Space to Create Colorado is a collaborative effort of multiple organizations to provide affordable workforce housing and working spaces for creative sector entrepreneurs and artists in rural, small town and mountain communities in Colorado. On July 28, 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper announced the first state-driven initiative in the U.S. for affordable housing for artists. Space to Create Colorado will advance mixed-use projects that blend affordable live/work space for artists and their families with non- residential space for creative enterprises and organizations that serve a critical community need.

Nine new projects were to be initiated in eight regions of the state by 2019. The first Demonstration Project is opening in 2020 in Trinidad. Ridgway was selected as the next community in the Southwestern Colorado region. Future sites are being determined through a competitive process.

Space to Create Colorado is directed by a steering committee comprised of invested partners. Artspace provides market, feasibility, and pre-development consulting services on behalf of Space to Create Colorado. Each of the projects will be customized to meet community needs for workforce housing and commercial space for creative sector entrepreneurs, artists, and arts-friendly organizations.

Who are the Partners and Collaborators? 

Led by Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade in partnership with Artspace, the Boettcher Foundation, Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), and History Colorado, this collaborative effort will assist Colorado communities in accessing state, federal, and local government resources, and include private sector and philanthropic support. (

Who is Artspace? 

 Artspace is the nation’s leader in artist-led community transformation, with more than 35 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, representing a unique $600 million investment in America’s arts infrastructure. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Los  Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. To date, Artspace has completed nearly 2,000 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as more than a million square feet of non-residential space for artists and arts organizations. (

What are the Goals? 

This initiative will stimulate community and economic development in rural, small town and mountain communities by providing long-term affordable and financially sustainable workforce housing and working spaces for creative sector employment. Nine projects initiated across Colorado by 2019 will culminate in roughly $45 million of investment statewide by multiple partners and agencies in direct capital investment.

What is the Definition of "Rural, Small Town & Mountain Communities?" 

Communities with less than 50,000 population and geographically distant from urban areas.

What is the Definition of "Artist and Creative Sector Workers?" 

Per CCI, the creative sector in Colorado includes things that are created in the human mind, made by hand or custom designed, and where art takes place, including such occupations as:

Actors, architects, audio and video technicians, art directors, book binding, painters, musicians, singers, song writers, music directors and composers, musical instrument designers and manufacturers, authors and writers, illustrators, publishers photographers, dancers, choreographers, sculptors, advertising and promotions, editors, commercial and industrial designers, sound engineers, interior designers, apparel and fashion designers and manufacturing, set and exhibit designers, reporters and correspondents, museum curators, technicians and conservators, film, television and video script writers and producers, camera operators, broadcast technicians, culinary arts, craftsmen, craft distillers and brewers, sign makers, public relations specialists, multi-media artists and animators, theaters, performance venues, museums, libraries, studios and galleries.

According to Artspace, an a person who has a commitment to and/or participation in the arts, not simply as a hobby. This does not mean that the art the artist creates generates any or all of the artist’s source of income.

An artist shall be defined as:
  • A person who works in or is skilled in any of the fine arts, including but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, book art, mixed-media and print-making.
  • A person who creates imaginative works of aesthetic value, including but not limited to film, video, digital media works, literature, costume design, photography, architecture and music composition.
  • A person who creates functional art, including but not limited to jewelry, rugs, decorative screens and grates, furniture, pottery, toys and quilts.
  • A performer, including but not limited to singers, musicians, dancers, actors and performance artists. In all culturally significant practices, including a designer, technician, tattoo artist, hairdresser, chef/culinary artist, craftsperson, teacher or administrator who is dedicated to using their expertise within the community to support, promote, present, and/or teach and propagate their art form through events, activities, performances and classes.
  • Artistic processes that are extremely noisy, require incompatible zoning or involve hazardous materials are typically not permitted. All uses must comply with applicable code. (

How Was Ridgway Selected? 

After discussion with and approval by the Town Council and Town Planning Commission and two public meetings, the Town submitted an initial application to CCI in February 2016. Ridgway was then selected to complete and submit the full Space to Create application in April 2016. A public meeting with 30 attendees set the goals included in this second application. On August 23, 2016, Space to Create Colorado announced that Ridgway had been selected as the Space to Create community for Southwest Colorado. Partners in Space to Create Ridgway are Telluride Foundation, Region 10, Ouray County Housing Advisory Committee, San Miguel Power Association, Weehawken Creative Arts and the Ridgway Chautauqua Society.

What Has Taken Place Since Ridgway's Selection? 

At the end of September 2016, Artspace staff met with more than 100 members of the community and the region in focus groups, representing Creatives, creative enterprises, arts and culture organizations, civic and nonprofit leaders, and the finance sector. A preliminary feasibility study report was published in December 2016. In early 2017, an Arts Market Survey went live. All Creatives and creative enterprises in our region were invited to respond to this survey. The survey garnered a large response with 444 individuals completing the survey! The information gathered will be critical to the next phases of the project. 

The project is currently in the second year of the Predevelopment Phase.  An application for low-income housing tax credits was made in 2019 to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authoity, but funding was not granted.  A second application was made in early 2020 and granted in May 2020.  Design plans that were submitted with the second application can be found under Resources (above).

Summary of Open House, Oct. 4, 2018
Open House Flyer

About 50 people attended the Open House at Ridgway Town Hall during which Artspace staff presented two different architectural renderings with the same floor plan, in order to better understand community aesthetic preferences. Attendees offered written feedback. The two concept options, found here (along with floor plans for three floors and elevation views from north, south, east and west), will be revised to respond to feedback received, where possible. Given the early stage in this predevelopment process, many aspects of these drawings could be revised. Until the securing of financing, many unknowns for the project exist.

These plans are based on making affordable workforce housing the priority in the facility and the maximum number of live-work units possible (28 units, mostly efficiency and one-bedroom apartments and a few 2-bedroom units).

For more information, please visit Ridgway Space to Create | Artspace and sign up for updates from Artspace, the building owner and manager. You may also contact Tera Wick, Community Initiatives Facilitator, Town of Ridgway: or 970-626-5308 x. 215