Art performance center fleeing high rent in Brooklyn for Detroit's affordable real estate

High rental costs in New York City are pushing a Brooklyn performance center to Detroit.

Galapagos Art Space Executive Director Robert Elmes writes on the center's website that it's moving to old buildings in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood and in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park.

Detroit has an overabundance of space, which helps keep rental and real estate prices down. Galapagos has bought 600,000 square feet of space.

Galapagos Art Space opened in Brooklyn in 1995. The venue says it has hosted about 7,500 programs since then.

Elmes writes that New York's "young artists and thinkers" are "talking about the next city they can land in once their current lease runs out."

Operators began looking at Detroit and Highland Park about 2 ½ years ago.

"To flourish, a well-functioning creative ecosystem needs three things in abundance: time, space and people," Elmes wrote. "Arguably, New York City has people but they no longer have time or space. Detroit has time and space and is gaining its critical third component — artists — at an astonishing rate."

Plans for Detroit include a 10,000-square-foot lake at the center of Galapagos' new home.

"There will be island seating on the lake and a beautiful, operatic style mezzanine will surround the lake," according to Elmes. "Trees will surround the lake. Imagine a forest and a lake in a building. That's what we're going to build."

A 1,600-square-foot lake was built at its New York City venue.