3rd Floor rental

  • Founder

    Dave had posted this as a goal for 2016, I hadn’t noticed until just this morning. I am proposing that Finnegan (My 2.5 year old son) and I live upstairs, after I have it renovated. I have discussed this with the building owners and most of the board in the last 2 weeks.

    If you have any interest in this at all, please read this through, as I’d like to have a round-table at the next board meeting. Especially the list of “Issues and Conflicts” at the end. My list is certainly not comprehensive, and this is a big move for me. Don’t be shy, if you have a concern, voice it. Also, if you are wondering if I’ll be able to provide this or that benefit, please ask, I’m sure I can. So please post back your thoughts.

    It will take a few months to get it renovated and livable. I will be putting in most of the labour, and will foot the bill for what needs capitol investment in the suite, short of any major building upgrades (ie: the roof will need work). I hope, with the approval of the board and the community to be living there by late spring or early summer.

    My Proposal:

    • I will invest labour and capitol into the 3rd floor suite
    • The intention is that it will be suitable to draw market rent within one year
    • I propose that for one year from whenever I sign a lease with the board, rent will be the labour and capitol I invest into the space
    • My intention is to live there long term, we will negotiate a new lease after 1 year
    • I will discuss with the treasurer a fair amount to chip in for utilities during that time

    Benefits to the space

    • More consistent drop-in availability
    • Janitorial, snow removal, security, occupancy, etc
    • The wood shop will be used on a daily basis, which means it will be dialed.
    • High availability for orientations and safety in the woodshop, and tours generally
    • I would consider re-certifying for level III first aid, which may be good for insurance purposes?
    • I will be parenting in the space on weekends, not around any heavy-duty tool usage, but in the space, even just to pass through. This means I will be taking it upon myself (although not necessarily doing ALL of the work) on a weekly basis to be sure that it is safe, clean and comfortable for a toddler. This will make it much easier to get more contracts like Insight, or to run events that are family and children friendly.
    • I intend to make a good impression on the landlords
    • I intend to foster good relationships with neighbors, being that they would have a human neighbor with a face, instead of a diffuse organization
    • I will chip in for utilities, easing the overhead for KM
    • I will also consider paying the difference to an upgrade in the internet service in the building, again easing overhead for KM
    • I am a social person, and I will be dragging everybody I know through the coolest lobby an apartment ever had. The more people that come through these days, the better, you never know who might become a crucial piece of our advance.
    • I own tools. I will acquire more. They will all end up at the space. Some will be of limited availability to members because they are my livelihood. But I will be setting the woodshop up, keeping it in glue, tape, hardware, clamps, bits and blades, and this will be a boon for KM while we get our legs under us.

    I realize that many of these things involve a commitment on my part, and part of the reason I am interested in living there is to accelerate the progress of KM in general. I take this seriously, and look forward to putting my elbow grease into the organization and the building.

    Benefits to the building and the Landlord

    • The building was in serious danger of being knocked over, and I think it is a good thing that it is preserved. But it needs work. I can do some of that work, much more than I could if it were not my home.
    • The landlords are happy to have the building improved
    • I intend to work with the vision that the landlords have for the upstairs space and work to get a head start on their long term vision
    • It will make it cheap for both KM and the landlords to get the space drawing rental income, as neither KM nor the owners have much of a budget for this at present.
      • The sooner the building is turning a profit, the better for KM, as it means stability and permanence

    Benefits to me and my son Finnegan

    • I am a single parent, and it is a rough go sometimes, having the resources of KM and the public space in our basement will make parenting much easier
    • Finnegan will grow up inside of a makerspace. Need I say more. It is a huge opportunity for his growth, learning, and socialization.
      • I think that this movement (makerspaces generally) is a huge bonus for children and families, and this can be a really wonderful experiment in immersing a child in a makerspace
    • living inside of my passion will make life in general much easier, and it will make devoting time and effort into KM much easier
    • I am in a position where by I essentially must go into business for myself this year. I could not do this (or at least it would be much more difficult) without my involvement with KM, and KM will benefit from having a successful business person come out of the organization
    • I get a long-term home with a shop, which I have been searching for for a decade with little success
    • I can offer my son an amazing situation, and the stability that comes from being attached to a non-profit. Stability is extremely important.
    • I am a creative person, architecture is my passion, and I have wanted a home to pour my creative juices into for years, but have at times been unwilling, at others been unable to commit to paying for that for the rest of my life.

    Potential Issues or Conflicts

    • I will be sleeping upstairs, and perhaps it gets noisy downstairs.
      • I ask that everybody be as respectful as they can, but I really don’t see this as an issue, and I won’t be telling anybody to shut any tools down, ever. I’ll either smile and roll over, or come down to see what the excitement is about. Being rowdy late at night in the hallway may be a different story…
      • We will have to draw this up in the lease, I think a policy of closing shop doors after a certain hour will suffice
    • I will have a child in the building sometimes. Some folks may take issue with this.
      • I am open to have any discussion around this and feel it can all be worked out
    • I may have people coming through the space for personal calls
      • Again, a policy will have to be put in place
    • I do have a slight concern about building safety, and I know that Finnegan’s mother does as well.
      • However, I see it as no different than having a workshop in a garage or basement
      • I do ask that it be in the policies, wavers, procedures, etc, that there is somebody living here, with all of his worldly possessions, and the cutest little boy you’ve ever seen, and to be mindful of that.

  • Member

    By the third floor I meant the old offices/dorm rooms. The apartment on the 4th floor we hadn’t really talked about.

  • Founder

    I see. I suppose I think of it as the third floor. Technically the building doesn’t have four floors, but you do pass through 4 levels to get up there. Its just the original building had high ceilings, so the 2 second floors don’t line up…

  • I do have a couple of concerns, but I think we can make this work.


    I ask that everybody be as respectful as they can, but I really don’t see this as an issue, and I won’t be telling anybody to shut any tools down, ever. I’ll either smile and roll over, or come down to see what the excitement is about.

    Being able to make noise 24/7 has been always a very important feature of makerspace. In our initial search criteria we had this down as a high priority and I am not willing to sacrifice this! For many of us the typical “working hours” does not line up with our creative hours and I expect to see people at makerspace at every hour of the day. I personally hope to be there many nights at 4am, running things that are very loud such as CNC router, lathe etc or play music. This is a very important selling point for our membership too. Many of us don’t have the luxury of working any time creativity hits at home (because of being married, children, neighbours etc.). I would not want to ever make a policy or even give the people the impression that there is such a thing as quiet hours at makerspace! You can come here and be load whenever you wish, and it should stay that way.


    I would ask that, if as a result of having someone living n the building our insurance increases, then @Bradley-Maker would pay the difference

    Distraction from makerspace projects

    I want to make sure that once community has approved, this will not remain an issue for makerspace. I do not want the renovation or other issues regarding the upstairs suite distract our volunteer force from the community spaces in the building. I would ask that unless absolutely critical, issues related to @Bradley-Maker living in the space do not end up in our agenda and somehow become community issues.

    That is all the comments I have for now. Thank you @Bradley-Maker for laying everything out ahead of the meeting to make this process easier.

  • Founder

    Thanks @arasbm !

    I don’t see any of that as an issue, but thanks for raising them, I think the discussion is important.

    Although I am not an insurance company. We should definitely mention this to the insurance company. But I will be holding my own insurance for my belongings and tools and my self and my work. I am going to be meeting an agent this next month to hash that out. As far as I know, insurance companies are always happy to have other policies cover what makes them uncomfortable.

    You crazy kids. I can’t imagine working that late anymore! Although I used to pull all nighters of all kinds. So I understand. But stop making me feel old.

    I hope I made it clear enough that noise isn’t an issue. The doors are all big and heavy, and a policy of closing doors should suffice. I could barely hear the mill running in the basement while I was in the woodshop yesterday. So that won’t be an issue, especially if some of that gear is in the metal room eventually. The CNC in the woodshop, and any other routers or planers in there will be the big issue. But even those I think will be a low din once there are 2 or 3 doors between me and the tools.

    I’d also suggest that it is better to have me up there while we navigate this rather than a stranger. I’m sympathetic. I don’t mind building some sort of a noise-suppressing solution if it is that bad, as if I can’t stand the noise, it’ll definitely need to be sorted out. Also, humans are very adaptable, me especially, we get used to things. Worst case I’m willing to wear ear plugs.

    I also see the traffic as potentially the most disturbing thing, as that upstairs room shakes when a heavy truck passes by. And there isn’t anything we can do about that. It is just part of living inside architecture that considers cars more than it does people.

    I also plan to do all of the labor. I may need a little help with plumbing or electrical, but most of that infrastructural work is connected to the 2nd floor rentals and the building generally which needs to be done anyways (getting hot water throughout for instance). The little bit of a distraction I may cause will be offset by the fact that I will be more available and willing to help out around the space (maybe even pull some late nights, so I can feel YOUNG AGAIN!) being that I only have to stumble up stairs and crash.

    Thanks again for your input

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