What's the Value of a Music Venue in a Neighborhood? Let's Find Out

With market pressures pushing landowners in London to build pricey new flats, local music venues are getting the boot; but does this make sense economically?

2 minute read

October 14, 2015, 10:00 AM PDT

By jwilliams @jwillia22

Hackney Empire

Fin Fahey / Flickr

Given that over one-third of London's "grassroots music venues" have shuttered since 2007, CityMetric’s Shain Shapiro sat down to do the math on what exactly cities lose when their music venues close. Doing the complicated math based on best guestimates, Shapiro sits down with a friend, who happens to own a music venue in the London borough of Hackney, to see what the economic return would be if the property was redeveloped with four flats.

"Using our iPhone calculators, we tallied up that his venue contributes £694,000 to the local economy each year, outside of its independent takings as a business. Include those, and the amount rises to £1.3m.

Furthermore, this venue employs 12 people at the London living wage. In total, this venue is worth, theoretically speaking, as much as £2m a year to the local and national economy."

The property owner developing the property could expect approximately £2m in the sale of the units—but as Shapiro points out, that is a one-time profit, "not something that will be pumped into the economy year after year." The side benefits of attracting people to the neighborhood include support for local restaurants and infrastructure (through transit fees).

Further, there is the non-quantifiable value of having a music venue (or art venue, theatre, etc.) in the neighborhood. The current sales price of the flats reflects the value of having entertainment venues in the neighborhood, creating an attractive environment to live. Without those venues, would the value of the flats be as high?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 in Citymetric

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