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In Protest, Landlord Will Triple Santa Monica Art Museum’s Rent

In a story published by the Los Angeles Times, Mike Boehm reports that, after the Santa Monica Museum of Art voiced support for a controversial $92-million plan to revamp the Bergamot Station arts complex where it’s situated, its landlord has threatened to triple its rent. The plan, which would add a 20,000-square-foot building doubling the museum current space, is opposed by many of Bergamot Station’s occupants, who claim that the project “threatens the operations and economic survival of the current tenants.” Now, the museum’s landlord, gallerist Wayne Blank, says he’ll hike its rent “in response to what he considers its disruptive and unneighborly vision for Bergamot Station,” according to Boehm. Blank, who is an owner of Shoshana Wayne gallery, says he’s saved the museum $3 million cumulatively by only charging it seventy cents per square foot, even while other tenants were paying two dollars per square foot. The museum’s spokesperson has declined to comment.