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Meow Wolf’s new Denver development is urban predation in sheep’s clothing.

Terra CottaDENVER, COLO- Alternatively, Santa Fe alt-art venue Meow Wolf is URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN CAT’S CLOTHING. Here’s the scam: Laud an arts collective of “creative types”. Let them pitch an arts space project to city planners for which you’ll supply the ownership investment. Let their non-profit creative-class cred prompt city leaders to provide otherwise unavailable land and the tax incentives and exclusions which come to cultural projects. Let them lead community fundraising to support art etc etc. You buy the land, you own the building, and you give them a 20-year lease. Their rent is subsidized by more community and city support. Cha-ching.

In the end, you’ve got another property, where you mightn’t been able lacking eminent domain. And you’ve roped in long-term tenants whose rent checks are backed by taxpayers. When your cronies lobby the city against that public support and their project is a bust, or when the lease expires, your sky is the limit! How can you lose?

Normally you pull this scam on locals, but art communities have their own MBA grads now. So how to subvert urban artists? Bring your own hicks.

In Denver, developers are using a New Mexico based band of bohemians called Meow Wolf as their shill intermediaries. Meow Wolf is a sort of Cirque du Soleil meets Halloween haunt house, in Santa Fe, who secured their own “permanent” leased space only last year with the backing of Game-of-Thrones creator George RR Martin. It’s the reverse of course, because Meow Wolf attracted the public subsidies for the pulp author turned property developer, who keeps the building.

Now someone has decided Meow Wolf can franchise their black-light immersive fun-houses everywhere that low-brow passes for art.

For 2018, Meow Wolf has rolled Denver for a new construction downtown. Except no, they and their public support get only a LEASE. Flush with praise for their success, the Meow Wolves admit they’re working on simultaneous metropolises across the west, even as they appear so fresh off the boat they hardly know what they’re doing!

They don’t, but their landlords do. Those crazy creatives!

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