From an artist point of view one could always get into a space where no one else wanted to be. The price would always be right because the space was usually not rentable to anyone else.
As time went by however, service businesses would enter the area because of the artist population and the pulse of the area would begin to vibrate. Good for everyone except for the original artists who entered the area. Their rents begin to go up and at a certain point they are forced out of their studio lofts .
It happened in NYC: in Soho, then Chelsea, the Lower East Side, and Brooklyn, and in many other cities across the country. It is an unfortunate pattern. Sooner or later the artists get kicked out of rental properties.
There IS an answer.
As long as you want to be an innovator pick out the place that works for you, your work, your business, your family and buy as soon as you can while the prices are relatively cheap. Once you own the property no one can force you out when the economy heads up and the gentrification begins.
And that brings me to Torrington, CT.
I don’t think any place has made it more inviting for an artist to purchase a property and use it in a logical way.