I spent some time with one of my favorite people today, James Bacchi; it’s been so long since we’d caught up with one another, so long in fact that we sat and gabbed in his gallery for over an hour. James opened his retail gallery site in South Beach over two years ago. Now he sees people from the neighborhood strolling on Saturdays and he’s observed they are either first time buyers or the empty nesters emigrating and re-emigrating from the ‘burbs — sans chil’en. Makes sense as there are no schools in the area yet.
But more interesting is this feeling of a real neighborhood emerging. Just this last month the South Beach Merchants Association got started, and James confirms that there are people strolling on the street now, which has encouraged him to open the gallery on Saturday. This is all in front of large buildings being occupied in the near future. And he’s planning a Saturday afternoon gallery stroll once a month in the near future.
I remember sitting in Momo’s only two years ago and listening to aggreived buyer at The Towers who said, “nothing is going on in this neighborhood!” Ahead of Rincon Hill completion things are already beginning to thrive, and Mission Bay is still three years away from a tipping point; but I believe we’re seeing it unfold now.
James also said that 50 Lansing had arranged to have ArtHaus simply stage with art only — no furniture nor other decor — for their last few units that were slow in moving. The art did the trick; the units are in contract. I’m happy working with a gallery rather than a stager. More on this soon.