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Crestwood arts tenants have two months to move on

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 26, 2011 -- After nearly three years at Crestwood Mall, five dozen arts organizations will do their spring cleaning while it's still winter and move out before March.

The tenants were recently given a Feb. 28 deadline for vacating the mall space they've always known would be a temporary solution to their space needs. The move-out will allow mall owners to reconfigure it as a entertainment center, after which arts tenants could return, if they can afford a significant rent increase.

Jeff Lefton of Abra-Kid-Abra magic camp, classes and parties isn't sure where his next move will take him. Holly Smith of To the Pointe dance studio is in negotiations for a new space near the mall.

"I am still working with a group of ArtSpace tenants that are trying to stay together," Smith wrote in a email. "We're all sad to see the mall close, but we knew it wasn't a permanent home."

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