A photographic account of heavy music in Portland, Maine
Grime Studios may relocate to new haunts by the end of this year.
Justin Curtsinger, Grime Studio’s owner, announced today that he has signed a letter of intent to lease the northern half of 299 Presumpscot St. — a warehouse building in Portland’s North Deering neighborhood. The new, larger space has enough square footage to build twice as many rehearsal spaces and art studios as its current home on Thompson’s Point. Rental rates will remain “reasonable,” with only slight increases, Curtsinger said.
The lease is currently “under contract” for 10 years with two five-year renewal options.
In order to sign the lease, however, Curtsinger will need to raise $70,000 within the next 3o days to fund the buildout of the studio spaces and infrastructure — a project estimated at $100,000 in total. Curtsinger has hired Tom Blackburn to serve as a project consultant throughout the process. Together, they are exploring several avenues for the funds, including an Indiegogo page, private donors, investors, and loans from non-traditional lenders.
One such loan, if approved, would raise about half of the $70,000 goal, Curtsinger said.
Curtsinger has also organized a benefit show at 9 p.m. Sept. 18 at Geno’s. with Sylvia, Superorder, Capture the Sun and Dour. All proceeds from the event’s $8 cover will go toward the relocation project. (Be sure to pace yourself and your budget next week, because Hessian will perform a homecoming/CD release show the night before.) A similar show was held late last month at Grime.
Moving is a necessity for Grime. Thompson’s Point is undergoing a multimillion-dollar redevelopment and soon Grime’s cement structure will be demolished to make way for a hotel. In the meantime, Curtsinger has been granted an extension on his lease until at least Nov. 1. (Another rehearsal space on Thompson’s Point — Paw Palace — has already been razed.)
Since March, Curtsinger has been trying to find a suitable new location for Grime, when an opportunity to relocate within Thompson’s Point fell through. Since then, three prospective locations have also fallen through — two on Forest Avenue and one on Walton Street.
Curtsinger took over the current building in October 2012 after raising more than $12,000 to pay debts accrued by prior management. He then renamed the facility from Prime Studios to Grime Studios. Today, nearly 30 bands practice on Thompson’s Point.
“It is essential for this place to keep going,” Curtsinger said. “Running this place has been an incredibly inspiring and rewarding experience. I know what Prime used to mean to me when I was a tenant and I know what Grime has become to a lot of other people, myself included.
“To successfully relocate this place is the only thing I have on my plate right now. I owe it to the tenants who have been here over the past two years and those still to come. This is an opportunity which I would be completely insane to walk away from, and if I were to do so — as many have advised throughout this process — I don’t think I could ever look myself in the eye again, because I know it can be done.”