The co-working challenge in Arlington is this: There is no space that is made available to artists with sound numbers.
What Arlington does have is the artists in need of space, the desire from the town to provide makerspace and industrial buildings that are empty.
However, when working with making a budget plan for the creative space, one can only shoot at the stars because of the following reasons:
-- Owners of property can provide square-foot price but not the total square footage exactly.
-- Owners of buildings are requiring triple net leases (i.e., the tenant pays for all of the owner fees of the building but doesn't get any of the benefits, such as renting it out).
-- Owners cannot provide a history of utilities and other fees from the property and ask for the renter to blindly enter an agreement to pay such fees.
Therefore, there is no way to budget a makerspace in Arlington.
When it comes down to it there is no support from the property owners. Perhaps they are holding out for big-name chains to rent spaces. Who knows?
But what I do know is I have a list of artist ready to sign leases who need studio space and no place to put them.
Sadly, it looks like Arlington is not ready for a maker, DIY, collaborative space.
This viewpoint was published Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014.