Today TomB and I met with Tom(Saw Mill) to check out the available spaces in Saw Mill Plaza. We looked at 3 or for of the spaces, and I was very happy with what I saw.
The Vital Points
- Every space had a bathroom, which was the only water in the place.
- The floors were unfinished. Tom said that they could install carpet before we moved in. When I expressed that we might like to floor it ourselves, he said they could also carpet half of it, or none of it.
- There were two spaces which were definitely in our price range at ~$625 and ~$750. I got the impression that we might even be able to get into the larger one for the lower price.
- The neighbors would be 5 empty spaces, a dog groomer, a martial arts place, and what seems to amount to a storage unit. The lady from the dog groomer was very nice.
- The dog groomer estimated her utilities at about $75/mo for electric, and $250/3wks for propane (only in the winter, obviously). I think that if we wanted to, we could improve the insulation and improve on that slightly. I figure with the groomer running the washer and dryer, as well as the dryer for the animals, her estimate of power usage would carry over pretty closely for us with power tools.
- The lease terms could be very flexible. Tom mentioned a 1 yr lease, a lease until the end of the yr the month to month, or "whatever we wanted". I explained that we didn't want to get stuck in a long lease on a place that was too small, but we also didn't want to overextend ourselves on something we couldn't afford right away. Tom was very agreeable to this.
- TomB did his best to explain the nature of what we're trying to accomplish, and Tom was intrigued and told that it seemed like a good idea. He even used the words "club" and "co-op" and it didn't seem to diminish his enthusiasm.
- We were told that we were free to build whatever walls we needed inside, and to install a vent to the outside, etc.He had no problems with the idea of us building walls or anything else. He said we could get our electrician in there to add 220v (or whatever else) if we needed it.
- There was plenty of power in every space we saw.
- We estimated the larger of the spaces we could afford at about 1100 sq. ft.
- In the event that we outgrew our space, moving into a larger space would not likely be a problem and annexing an adjacent space would be a possiblity.
The Basic Math
TomB and I did a bit of napkin math and came to the conclusion that we would need ~$1000/mo to meet rent and utilities if we budgeted year round to pay for propane in the winter. That would mean that I'd like to ultimately have $3000 in the bank to have a decent cushion. To get into the space we would need ~$2000. That would be 2 months rent as a security deposit, and the first month's rent. We would also get one free month to get into the space and do whatever buildout we might want. We currently have around $300 in the sqwr bank account, so we would need some kind of fund raiser or a bunch of us throwing some cash into the ring to make that happen. I don't think it would be too difficult.
The Next Steps
I am going to send a follow up email to the Tom(CR) to confirm whether he got the last email (the requirements list) and see if he has anything that he thinks might fit our needs. I'll post an update here if/when I hear from him. In the meantime, if anybody would like to go peek in the windows and come back with an opinion, that would be awesome. If anybody would actually like to see the inside, let me know. If we can settle on a day Tom(Saw Mill) might be able to make sure it's unlocked when we get there to see it.