FRAM+Slokker’s initial residential offering in East Village is named in honour of those who take the FIRST step.

When you think about it, East Village is kind of a Canadian SoHo – a once-bustling downtown neighbourhood that fell on hard times and is now experiencing a resurgence fueled – at least in part – by art and culture. New York’s SoHo went from pleasant ‘hood to ‘Hell’s Hundred Acres‘ over the course of a century. Then, in the 1970s, artists and musicians took up residence. SoHo was the perfect live-work – big spaces, low rents, like-minded neighbours.

Artists tend to have a civilizing effect on neighbourhoods; fearless, they instill confidence, and soon enough, development follows. It’s happened in New York’s Meatpacking District, Le Marais in Paris and on Vancouver’s Granville Island, to name a few places. The artists, musicians and independent-minded are often first in. Indeed, the awesome National Music Centre was the first cultural deal struck for East Village way back in 2009.

And so a name was born for FRAM+Slokker’s first building, an 18-storey development on Confluence Way at 5th Street. FIRST. “FIRST mirrors the artist’s courageous first step when faced with raw clay, a blank piece of paper or canvas,” says Bruce Kerr of Slokker. “These are the people who are intrigued by the unknown and create based on their own beliefs, the leaders. This is the kind of person we think will be at home at FIRST.” Sound like you? Check it out: