~by Maria Benner
We’ve been leasing our studio space in the 4th Avenue Market Place for a little over a year now, and last week we signed another year-long lease. When we signed the first lease, the property manager told us that our rent would increase at the end of our year, because we’d be charged for utilities, which were free for the first year as an introductory offer. So at the end of the year we sent the property manager an e-mail stating that we’d like to renew our lease for another year, or even two, and listed several reasons why we shouldn’t have to pay a higher rate. Negotiating is always tough, and at first we were told that if we sign a lease, our rate would increase despite our request. There was a caveat, however. If we lease month-to-month, our rate will stay the same. So we figured, why wouldn’t we do that? I suppose if someone came along with a better offer, we would be asked to leave. Then after about two months, out of the blue, the property manager agreed to our offer to keep the rent the same as the introductory rate, if we sign a lease. So we went ahead and did it. We don’t know how long we’ll be renting that space, and whether rent will go up next year, but for now we’ll be there for another year at least. A big challenge of running an art business is keeping overhead as low as possible, so we’re glad we got a break on our lease. I mean, the view alone is a major reason we love the studio!