01/12/2011 02:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Brooklyn Building Provides Creative Communal Workspace

When Al Attara bought a former bank on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn 32 years ago for under $250,000, he envisioned it as a complex in which artists, architects and furniture designers would work side by side and share ownership of the 45,000-square-foot space.

But Mr. Attara's plans languished, in part because the bank building was declared part of the Brooklyn Center Urban Renewal Area, meaning that the city could reclaim it at any time. Only now -- four years after he learned that the city had no plans to acquire the property -- is his vision coming to life.