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November 12, 2012
In talking with the doods at TEDxRoch, and in every discussion and every blog item, the biggest thing seems to be "where will we be?" I'm slightly new to the group, but I would like to encourage the topic.
We have one potential location, which is pretty good by several measures. 850 St. Paul is in the neighborhood of a church, a comic book shop, 3 other light industrial buildings, and about 60 houses within a block. Across the street is the beautiful Genessee River. Dan, the guy who runs the comic book shop, is a good guy, and I would be delighted to be near there. It's an okay neighborhood, although there seems to be some concern about safety. I don't have crime statistics so I can't say how legitimate a concern that is, but I am also willing to invoke Mahatma Gandhi: Be the change you want to see in the world. The way to reduce crime is to be a good neighbor. That said, I also don't know how well lit the area is at night. Regarding the space itself: by all accounts, the space is beautiful. I wanted to go be part of the group to see it the other day, but I had a meeting of my own to go to, alas. The space is 2,800 square fFeet, something like 40' x 70'. Could be a little cozy if more than a dozen large projects are going on at once. Also, I don't know about the situation with bathrooms, water, power, ceiling conditions, internal walls or partitions … But it is apparently shiny and inviting. That is important.
Then there is option B. There exists another space, which is 18,000 square fFeet. I am imagining an area 60' across the fFront, and 300' deep, with walls or partitions across the back to shrink the space somehow. Rob's message said only that it exists, and that it isn't as inviting, and that it would be more fFlexible. Well, that's cool. Again, what about bathrooms, water, power, ceiling conditions and so on? Where is this space located? Same neighborhood? To be honest, I was hoping a little bit fFor a space that is south of The City, so we can be a little closer to things like the Universities and maybe in general area of the neighborhood of the arts, but that gets more expensive quickly, I'm sure. And, as fFor it not being as inviting, we may be able to apply some paint, yes? Get some of our talented area mural artists to make the place more awesome, perhaps.
My opinion is that I'd rather get some kind of space, even if it's not quite big enough to hold everyone. And the challenge right now, in my mind is, everyone *says* they want to join, but when we actually get a space, will that diminish to a small percentage of actual participants? While it's good to think of ramping up to a big area, it might be good to get something we know we can use. Before I can reasonably cast a vote on either option, I would want to see who is actually committed to paying in, and what kinds of projects will be started.
Also, by the way, do we have the option of getting both spaces? If we fFind we really do run out of space immediately, can we, would we be able to, is it a possibility to support two makerspaces? One North and one South, or something? Taking the middle path, it would allow us to work with a great landlord in a terrific fFriendly community space, and perhaps bigger private projects would get moved to the other space. It might be splitting our resources too thin, or it might be a perfect resolution to address both casual and committed interests.
November 12, 2012
November 12, 2012
May 8, 2012
Sorry Scott, I think all of us have been over our heads this week. I apologize not getting back to you sooner. I only saw your original post yesterday, while I was pounding my head against a wall dealing with some Physics homework, and didn't intend to make you feel that your post was ignored. All of us have jobs/school/etc. and at times get caught up.
With that being said, I think it's easy to see why we need volunteers. Even if it's just posting on the forums.
Let me try and answer some of your questions for you.
The St. Paul location in itself is great. The landlord is very flexible, willing to put us in a space that would allow us to grow over time. The neighborhood in my opinion is fine. A couple of short blocks away, not so much. However the entire facility is gated with a huge fence, and is keypad/remote activated past 6pm. To me security isn't an issue, but that's not to say that other people won't feel the same way.
There's actually two spaces at that location. One is 3,000 sq. ft. that at the moment doesn't have it's own entrance or it's own bathroom. It is however remodeled and the landlord will be willing to put in things we need, such as water, or even a bathroom. The second is 18,000 sq. ft. and the landlord will put us in that space, and only charge us for the space we use. We find this very appealing It also has a bathroom, a private entrance, and rooms for a possible workshop/classroom. However it is dingier than the first space. But it could be cleaned.
I think you may be mistaken by the 18,000 sq. ft. space. The only reason that being discussed was this, many people were asking about the building over in the Humboldt/Blossom area. The problem with that is the minimum space requirement of 18,000 sq. ft. Although we intend to have that much space at some point, it's not something we can do right now, unless we take an extended break to do heavy fundraising.
We are also working with someone who is also trying to start an incubator/entrepreneur space. He is looking at us getting into the Sibley building, and we will have more details on that in the near future. In the meantime, if you want to help with that, go to FLEXcommunity on facebook and "like" their page. We'd like to show that the effort has backing of people in the community.
The option of two spaces is not on the table at the moment. We need to get into one before we have two. lol. And we also want to create a rich and thriving community of makers under one roof. We believe that having two locations would only cause confusion, and would diminish the environment that we are trying to create.
I hope that I have answered some of your questions. We absolutely need people to be actively looking for space. Would you be interested in that effort? If you are my personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact me and I will pass the necessary information along the way.
February 7, 2012
I think everyone who looked at the 2,800 and 18,000 square foot spaces we are considering at 850 St. Paul Street liked them. We've also received a considerable amount of support for that location from others who weren't able to join us. But at TEDxRochester we learned about some other spaces that we can't ignore. A commercial real estate broker also began helping us for free and an owner of a large famous building downtown told us he is very interested in having us there.
So our already very overworked group of volunteers is acting responsibly and is looking at other good possibilities. But we're not going to keep looking indefinitely and I expect we'll make a decision in the next couple of weeks.
By the way, we agree that location, location, location is extremely important. But money is also an issue. You and others can help us expand the number of locations we can consider by pledging start-up money, like others have.
We appreciate your obvious enthusiasm and support.
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