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Eastern Bank has provided a $14-million loan to the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston for its landmark purchase of the Western Avenue Studios & Lofts in Lowell, MA.

The WASL complex includes 240,000 square feet of space, 250 work-only artist studios, 50 live/work studios, and a brewery, café and gallery.

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston seeks to empower artists and organizations with the resources they need to practice their crafts and grow their businesses. The purchase of Western Avenue is part of the organization’s Creative Campus Initiative, a response to gentrification in Greater Boston and the resulting loss of affordable maker spaces for creative communities. This purchase ensures that the artists spaces at Western Avenue Studios & Lofts will remain affordable, community-based and dedicated to creative businesses.

“As our local communities gentrify, access to capital to preserve their arts spaces becomes challenged,” said Jim Grace, executive director of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston.

“Affordable housing is essential to keeping our local economy thriving and growing,” said Pamela Feingold, SVP with Eastern Bank. “Through a collaborative financing model with our community partners, the Western Avenue Studios & Lofts building will be preserved and rent for practicing artists will be kept affordable.”

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