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Thursday’s Meeting and 2 Spaces We Can Rent

Our next informal weekly meeting is going to be this Thursday, October 4th, at the McGregor’s in Penfield at 1129 Empire Blvd. We’re going to meet a little later this time, at 7 PM, and we’re going to have an important discussion about renting one of the two “starter” spaces we just found.

The first is at 250 Cumberland Street, in the old downtown post office. It is being rented by Sean, who restores and customizes motorcycles. He has much more room than he needs and we would be taking over all but about 400 of his 2,000 square foot workshop. In addition to the workspace, we would be able to use (with the proper training or experience) his Bridgeport mill, Rockwell industrial lathe, TIG welder and a foundry capable of pouring 20-pounds of aluminum. It’s a pleasant space with high ceilings and large windows at one end. The cost would be about $500/month plus utilities and insurance.

We would need to reach an agreement with Sean about sharing his space that we all can be happy with, and get the landlord’s OK.

I just learned about a second possibility last Friday. We haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, although I did talk about it with another tenant in the building. It’s 1,700 square feet in the Fedder Industrial Park at 1327 East Main Street, which is near the Hungerford Building and Village Gate. The rent is $540 per month which includes all the utilities. We would have a month-to-month lease which would allow us to quickly move to a larger location if we outgrow it.

There is a problem with it. The building’s outside doors are locked at 4:15 PM each day and the landlord doesn’t want to provide dozens of keys for our members. So we’ll probably only have about 4 keys to work with unless we can talk him into letting us install a keycard system or find another solution.

There was almost no interest or discussion when we suggested renting a space on Industrial Street a couple of months ago. We don’t know if it’s because many of you are unwilling to come downtown, if it’s because you want to leave the decision to just a few of us, or if we’ve badly misjudged the amount of interest and support we have. Quite frankly, we need to see a lot more discussion and support this time or we’re probably going to stop and reevaluate what we’re doing.

If you can’t make Thursday’s meeting then please leave a comment or join our volunteer’s email list. And by the way, we do want to know if you don’t like either location, think we should wait awhile or have other suggestions.

We’re going to need all the help we can get if we do rent one of them because we’re going to have to decide, in a very short time, how we’re going to organize and run our space. We’re also going to have to quickly create a membership agreement, a liability waiver, operating rules and bylaws. And we’ll need to build workbenches and walls, do some painting, and some other chores.

Now’s the time to speak up and pledge your support if want to see a makerspace open soon in Rochester. With your help and support we can open our doors this month.

And one thing. We’re stretched a bit thin right now. Would anyone be willing to get some insurance quotes for us? It can be done over the phone and it probably won’t take long.

7 comments to Thursday’s Meeting and 2 Spaces We Can Rent

  • me
    October 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply

    The Fedder is a pretty crappy place…Highly advise against locating there…
    a friend

  • Rob
    October 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply

    What’s crappy about it? And how much are you willing to donate so we can afford to get started in a better place?

  • Airhead
    October 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply

    I am still interested in this effort, and the locations being considered make it even more attractive to me. My apologies for not making any meetings yet, I’ve been busy with other things, and didn’t want to to get involved with more until I was sure there were ‘legs’ on this and not just high hopes.

    My health has also been limiting things, as well as just plain ‘malaise’ about world events that are leaving me wondering about whether the timing might be holding a LOT of people back from ‘committing’ to this effort.

    I am going to do my damnedest to come see the Cumberland space tomorrow.

    Brian

  • Antonio
    October 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply

    If any one has questions about 1237 E. Main St. AKA the Fedder building, I may be able to help. I had 1700sq/ft there for the past 5 years. We just moved to a new 5,500sq/ft space on Garson ave October 1st.

    Overall it’s not a bad building, very affordable. The main down side to fedder is that it’s essentially owned by 3 banks and is in ownership limbo, very unstable.

    I hope you guys pull this space together. I’m swamped with our move and keeping up with production but happy to help when I can.

  • Rob
    October 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply

    Antonio,

    It sounds like the space we’re interested in may be the one you just moved out of. We have someone who is going to look at it for us this week.

    Seven of us met this morning with Sean at his space. We really like him, his tools and the space. But he’d like us to commit to a one year lease and I (and others) would like a shorter term (six months and then month-to-month) in case we quickly outgrow the space, or find we don’t have much financial support as we think we do.

    Thank you for information and offer of help.

  • Airhead
    October 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Reply

    I have to say I’m liking the way the prospective locations keep getting closer and closer to my home! I have some concepts for building light-weight compressed air-powered vehicles that run on train tracks and the Fedder building and railroad street facilities would make it easier to do some tests with them.

    I recently went to re-familiarize myself with the Fedder facility, and even though I do agree that it looks pretty crappy, I like the way it’s out of the way a bit without all the traffic and other businesses, and being right across the tracks from Village Gate will very highly likely attract a good number of creative people. Hell, for the rent, I could almost see myself renting it on my own!

    Kinda like the ‘Goth’ feel to it as well… love to see the inside to see what sort of accessibility it provides.

    Let me know when/where the next meeting is please!

    Brian

  • Rob
    October 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply

    Brian,

    Please keep in mind that we could end up anywhere. We’ve looked at a lot of places in the city because we’re just getting started and rents are cheaper there. But we’re also looking in some of the burbs.

    BTW, the outside appearance of a building doesn’t matter much to me. But I do think our space needs to be clean, bright and inviting because it will help us attract members.

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