I spoke to two members of the Green Team this evening — Mali Dyck and Reinette Senum — and learned that a contingent of the team has drafted a “concept proposal” for the Alpha Building. They’re calling it The Alpha Building Marketplace and Community Collaborative.
According to Mali and Reinette, Gary Tintle, co-owner of the Alpha Building, is very interested in their proposal.
Here are some excerpts from the draft proposal:
“The Alpha Building Marketplace and Community Collaborative is envisioned as a people’s marketplace and community center serving local residents and travelers alike …
“We envision a vibrant community gathering place showcasing local and regional farmers, artisan producers, independently owned and operated local businesses and non-profit public benefit organizations. The Alpha Building Marketplace and Community Collaborative would:
* Feature local and regional foods and products and operate as a community gathering place for the celebration of local culture, food and services on the main or plaza level.
* Celebrate community collaboration through the non-profit collaborative, embracing the benefits of shared spaces and collective business services on the mezzanine level.
* Assemble the tools for our community’s current and future food security while contributing to our economic sustainability by offering a certified community kitchen, creamery, refrigeration and storage (as possible attributes) on the daylight basement level.
“The Alpha Building Marketplace and Community Collaborative would further serve as an incubator for artisan producers and community groups who are committed to supporting local, sustainable agriculture and to stewarding Nevada County’s economic, ecological and social/cultural well being …
The proposal includes specifications of space utilization for each of the three levels:
“THE MAIN LEVEL
As previously stated, the main level would serve as the heart of the marketplace. Of the 8,000 square feet, approximately 87% is usable space. We anticipate 4,000 square feet of rental space of up to 15 small business entities (in approximately 250-300 square foot kiosks). An additional 3,000 square feet would be utilized as rental space for community events, performances, temporary market space (i.e., an off-season indoor farmers market, etc.).
The mezzanine would pilot a non-profit collaborative, where local, community-based organizations would house their offices while sharing common spaces (such as conference and meeting rooms) and innovating shared business services and equipment. These community organizations would be comprised of those whose mission is to promote the economic, ecological and social/cultural health and well being of our community. This level would also house the management office of the Alpha Building. 71% of the space is usable, leaving 3,000 square feet for offices and 1,085 square feet for common and shared spaces.
The lower or daylight basement level would provide an important economic engine and incubator for agricultural producers wishing to develop value-added products and in making it possible for model community programs that rely upon certified kitchens to thrive (i.e., a school lunch program, etc.). The basement could house a certified community kitchen, a creamery, large walk-in refrigerators and freezers, storage space, as well as possible additional retail space. The development of this level of infrastructure is costly but we believe it is fundable, at least in large part, by USDA Rural Development programs. 78% of the space is usable with over 6500 square feet available for these proposed purposes …
“At an average of $1.10sf/month for all usable space, the average income equals $19,320 per month.
“Additionally, the annex would need to generate another $5000/month to ensure the economic viability of the Alpha Building Marketplace and Collaborative. There have been conversations with various entities, ranging from the community radio station, a local brewing company as well as in creating a healing arts studio and community clinic in this space whose square footage approximates 5,000 sf of usable space.”
As interesting and provocative as all this is, keep in mind that this is a draft proposal, a work in progress.
Much will depend on the response from the community, and the first step in measuring that response will the be the public meeting — the “Barn Raising,” they’re calling it — in the Alpha Building itself on Thursday, September 30th from 6 PM to 9 PM.
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