July 17, 2010 9:12:00 PM
It''s been two months since the Cre8tive Warehouse closed at the corner of Washington and Lampkin streets.
The building now sits empty, a "For Rent" sign hangs in the window and a group of artists and community members hopes to turn the structure into an arts and community resource center.
But the group is staying mum until more plans for the building can be finalized.
"There''s a little bit of motion," said Dylan Karges, an artist leading the effort to make use of the building. "We''ll know in the next week or so if we''re going to get things back in order."
The Starkville Area Arts Council supports the efforts to establish an arts and community resource center, although it''s not a SAAC project. Karges, incoming president of the SAAC, hopes to meet soon with the building''s owner, Rob Roberson, to discuss future plans.
"There''s definitely some positive momentum building," Karges said.
Founded in 2008 by Heath Kleinke, Eric Abbott and Carey Estes, the Cre8tive Warehouse served as a workspace and gallery for local artists. The space also housed art shows and the occasional musical performance, among other activities.
But over the past year, Estes and Abbott left the Cre8tive Warehouse partnership due to other obligations. Unable to pay the $1,500 rent and utilities on his own, Kleinke moved out of the Cre8tive Warehouse this spring and relocated to Hattiesburg.
Roberson, who works as an attorney in Starkville, said he would like to see Karges and others succeed in reopening an arts hub in the building.
"I''d love to see the Cre8tive Warehouse go back in there," Roberson said. "Frankly, if it works out and they make it happen, great. But I''ve got to do something from a financial standpoint. I am more than willing to do anything we can to get things rolling, but we have to do something soon."
Roberson said he already has "another person" interested in renting the space, but reiterated his desire to turn the building back into an arts location.
"I would love to see Cre8tive Warehouse solidify a plan and make something happen," he said. "I think it''s good for Starkville. I think it''s good for young people to have a creative outlet."
1. Two local nonprofits get Dutch Oil grants COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Industrial park legal challenge will delay project STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY