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Archive:New Space Search 2012

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Revision as of 08:41, 29 November 2012 by Ciaran.mooney (talk | contribs) (Build-out of new space)
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We're looking for a new space to move in once we've got some savings in the bank. We won't be in such a rush to move as last time.

The right space could allow us to run things such as a permanent licensed bar, which could be a boon to the community and also increase our revenue.

Requirements

With a continued rate of growth we will hopefully see an increase in recurring revenue from the current level of £4,800/month to around £6,000/month.

Ideally we should be looking for somewhere which is less shiny than our current location, so we can make our own mark on the space without having to undo a lot of work when we leave. Think factories and warehouses more than offices.

We'll probably want to keep approximately the same split of areas as our current space, without reducing any of them in size.

High level requirements

  • At least 5000 sq ft (460 sq m) - our current place is 2600 sq ft.
  • In Zone 1 or 2. No further than 2 miles from our current location (because it could cause a disruptive change in our membership when we want it least).
  • B1 or B2 use class
  • Price less than £6000/month (£75,000/year) inc. service charge & VAT - i.e. less than £15.00/sq ft.
  • No more than 0.5 miles to a tube/overground station
  • Ground floor OR goods lift
  • Separate entrance. Landlord has to be comfortable with hundreds of people having access.
  • Noise allowed. We make a lot of noise, and a residential area isn't going to cut it.
  • Has some natural light

Possible requirements (wishlist)

We won't be able to satisfy all of these, but the more the better.

  • A building to ourselves, we'd rather not be renting a unit.
  • Roof access
  • somewhere secure for bikes
  • usable outside area; ideally large enough for firing trebuchet/rockets/pigs.
  • convenient parking for motorbikes, cars, etc

Non-functional requirements

  • Friendly landlord
  • Easy access
  • Fantastic views

Scoring

Long list

Here's a google map to visualise where the list of candidates are: [1]

445 Hackney Road

Marshgate Business Centre

  • 7000 sq ft
  • £6000/month

Main Yard, Hackney

  • 5,000 sq ft
  • "The property is available to let on customer focused flexible lease terms and the benefit of no legal fees. Incentives are available to the ingoing tenant subject to lease length."

Canning Road E15

  • 6,236 sq ft
  • £770 pw
  • Close to 6 Tube & Train Stn.
  • Electric Shutter(6 meter High)
  • CCTV with 8 Camaras
  • 6136 sqft with 6.2 m height
  • 24/7 Access
  • 6 to 7 car park

Ruled Out

16-22 Pritchard's Road gone

  • 5014 sq foot / 466 sq m
  • £4596 + £1266 rates = £5862/month
  • £11 per sqft
  • Ground Floor
  • High Ceilings
  • Gas Central Heating
  • Parking
  • Loading Bay
  • Good Natural Light

The address I believe is 16-22 Pritchard's Road London E2 9AP, previous tenants Mainstream Printing Services.


42 North Road

  • 15,000 sq ft
  • £negotiable
  • Massive amounts of work need doing to it, and it's only available on a long lease, so probably ruled out.

Wallis Road No longer on the website, presumed gone

  • 10968 sq ft
  • 3200 sq ft parking
  • £1635 pw

Dalston Lane gone

  • 8000 sq ft
  • £1058 pw

Pritchards Road Gone

  • 7200 sq ft
  • 55000-£87000 pa

Cheshire St gone

  • 7000 sq ft
  • £1308 pw

Advanced planning

Move

Moving will be an enormous task, and will take at least an entire weekend (and probably a week's worth of time in preparation).

Build-out of new space

There's no guarantee that any location we find will have all the amenities we need, so it's likely we'll have to budget for things such as fitting the kitchen, installing partitions, installing new flooring. Fortunately we should have a decent level of cash on hand. This is being organised via Renovation.

Leaving Cremer Street

We need to return the two units to how they were when we arrived, which will require quite a bit of work.

  • Kitchen conversion can probably stay as long as it's fully completed.
  • Wall needs replacement breeze blocks (£???) + a day's building + painting.
  • All(/most?) walls and doors need repainting. (They do? I'm not sure thats true. --jonty)
  • Wet room and storage rooms need reinstating as toilets. Walls do not need to be rebuilt.

Links

Self-referential thread of interest; New space?

Places to Look

If an agent wants you to sign up for future mailings and you don't want their spam, you can subscribe property@london.hackspace.org.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we really need to expand?

It's a judgment call, but there are a few arguments for further expansion.

First of all it needs to be pointed out that every time we moved or expanded the space, our community grew along with it and quickly filled the available space. (We last expanded in January 2011 to double our space, and within a year already filled that space.)

There are a number of problems with our current space:

  • We can't hold workshops with more than 15 people.
  • We're running out of storage space (e.g. for member boxes), and can't set up any new infrastructure that requires a lot of space (such as more workbenches in the workshop.) We can't accommodate project work that requires a lot of space.
  • At peak times (evenings) the workshop frequently gets busy enough that people need to share workbenches. It gets harder to work with bulky materials without getting into someone's way.
  • We can't even promote the Hackspace in a big way; for the last year we've declined interview requests because we currently cannot accommodate a potential flood of new members.

There's an argument to make that more space would also address some of our social problems:

  • We're now at a community size where not everyone knows everyone else any more, and certain social mechanisms stop working; for example some people may feel that tools get abused, or workspace does not get cleaned up, and it's not clear who was the culprit. (See Broken.)
  • One way of coping with such a large community is to start segmenting it into subgroups, something we're already doing (biohackers, music hackspace, graphics hackspace, ...)
  • In a perfect world we would be able to give each larger subgroup their own space (for example their own room), and the ability to run it as they see fit (to set up their own rules for tool access, maintenance, etc); to re-introduce a sense of ownership.
  • Our current space in Cremer St does not accommodate such a subdivision. A larger space would help.

How will we finance a move?

  • We will publish a detailed moving budget once we're close to committing to a new space. (Todo: insert Russ' budget spreadsheet as an example.)
  • We have a bit of money in the bank for circumstances like this, and we expect that a new space will increase membership (this happened every time we moved/expanded)
  • We will under no circumstances raise the £5 minimum donation threshold for members.
  • Instead we will likely ask existing members to increase their monthly donation, e.g. "double it if you can." (Russ made a scatterplot of current donations, ordered by member ID.)
  • Additionally we may invite one-off donations from members and generous donors, seek a loan (external or from members), etc

Will a new location add to my travel time?

It is unlikely that we will ever find another space as close to a train station as Laboratory 24, with Hoxton station around the corner. It is possible that any new location will involve additional travel time by foot to get to the closest station. We will try our best...

We don't know how many people actually use the East London Line to come to the space, but it seems likely that most visitors use a variety of transport means to get to the space (e.g. multiple trains or bus lines.) Also note that East London (particularly the Hackney/Tower Hamlets area) generally has great bus connections to many parts of the city. In combination this means you may have to change your route, but total travel time may not change by much.

Synonyms

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