Durkin Properties is behind the revitalization of a strip center on Lockwood Drive near Belt Line Road and US 75. Over the last 18 months, several new businesses have opened in the center, including Communion Neighborhood Cooperative, Lockwood Distilling Co. and Bulldog Barber Shop.
Two units remain vacant, according to Dunkin Properties President Manasseh Durkin. To encourage activity in the space between Communion and Lockwood, Durkin has partnered with Bedford-based nonprofit organization Central Arts to install a pop-up art installation.
According to the organization’s website, Central Arts seeks to cultivate culture by showcasing the talent of local artists. One of the ways it does this is by partnering with landlords to create a free space for artists to display their work.
“The idea is to take a space that is a dead zone otherwise,” Central Arts founder Joshua Santillan said. “This gets people to interact with the environment and lease it quickly—and come see the art quickly, because it might not be here next week.”
The effort is a win-win for the landlord and the artists, Durkin said.
“We have these vacant spaces that sit here and look abandoned,” he said. “It’s amazing how having light in here and people ... gets people looking at these spaces, and it makes them lease up quicker.”
The public will also have a chance to explore the space at a special event Dec. 17. Guests can enjoy wine and cheese while perusing work from various artists.
Durkin said he plans to expand the pop-up art installations to several of his tenantless properties in Richardson, including some empty spaces he owns on Main Street.
“We are going to do this on buildings in Richardson because we have a bunch, and we want to get them filled,” he said.
Artists Sergio Santos and Dan Dansereau are responsible for the work currently displayed at the Lockwood space. But other artists are welcome to display their work there as well, Santos said. Those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our hope is to attract the local Richardson artists and start that energy,” he said.
Durkin said the Lockwood property will likely be filled within the next six months. Until then, the space will continue to showcase the work of local and regional artists, he said.