by Jim Nintzel
We mentioned in The Skinny this week that the state-owned warehouse that's home to Solar Culture is set to go to auction on Tuesday:
More than two decades ago, artist Steven Eye first opened the doors to an abandoned downtown produce warehouse on Toole Avenue that he had rented for the princely sum of $300 a month from the Arizona Department of Transportation.
That warehouse, which had been acquired by the state and was slated for destruction to make way for a Barraza-Aviation Parkway extension that was never built, has blossomed into Solar Culture, which is part art gallery, part performance space and part artistic hub of the downtown Warehouse District.
But there are dark clouds gathering over Solar Culture's building, which is set to go up for auction next week as the cash-strapped state seeks to unload surplus properties in an effort to find revenue.
Dave Devine was on the scene as another downtown warehouse—the one right on Toole and Stone avenues that used to be home to Zee's mineral gallery—went up on the auction block today. He reports:
After a spirited bidding process, real estate company Peach Properties bought the vacant warehouse at 1. E. Toole Ave. Appraised at $165,000, the warehouse was sold for $252,000.
Artist David Aguirre, who heads up Dinnerware Gallery, says he's a partner in the project and will manage it. Aguirre says Dinnerware and some other galleries will move into the space.