Judging from the Question and Answer session at our Spring General Membership Meeting, the biggest issue on everyone's mind is our location choosing process. Not a big surprise! The Real Estate Committee is now actively seeking and looking at locations and have visited a number of them. Our members understand the importance of keeping a tight lid on information about exactly which locations the Real Estate Committee has seen. Mentioning any specific spot puts us at risk for powering up the rumor mill. Before we know it, dozens of people will think we've found a location and may even join the Co-op because of that spot. That would put us in the very awkward position of having to explain to someone that, in fact, the place they thought we would be opening was just one of many sites considered by the Real Estate Committee. One-way train to disappointmentville!
But we do want to be as open as possible about how the Committee is evaluating locations. To that end, we've gotten a copy of the form that Real Estate developed before beginning the site-visitation phase of the process. You can download the form here to get a look at all of the different criteria being considered. This information is the first step. Sites that show promise and merit serious consideration are then passed along for a professional site analysis done which will answer questions about the revenue-generating potential of the location based on characteristics of the building, local demographics, ease of access, proximity to members, etc.
We hope this helps give members and not-yet members an idea of how the Real Estate Committee is approaching this monumental task. While they can't reveal locations under consideration, you can always get in touch with them to suggest locations that you may have encountered in your neighborhood. So far the Committee has considered over 15 properties, many of which were suggested by Co-op members! The ideal space is lurking out there somewhere but we (all of us... members, volunteers and committee members) have to find it!
Now that you see the criteria used by the committee when visiting a site, you may even be able to provide some info with your suggestion. Questions or suggestions can go to firstname.lastname@example.org.