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The Building

Construction Projects

Space Features

  • a appx 4,000 sq ft, 2 story ballroom / event space with mezzanine
  • an industrial kitchen & walk-in freezer (needs fixing up)
  • a massive back room with capacity for vertical expansion
  • 55'-ish ceilings
  • massive basement with windows above street level (currently blacked out)
  • a separate room that used to function as a disco (with lighted floor)
  • a warren of odd little rooms, a stage, lots of bathrooms, skylights throughout
  • a wheelchair lift

How our dominant culture views and values 'space' ($/psf)

A simplistic capitalist analysis which conveniently excludes many critical metrics of economic and social value is 'price-per-square-foot' ($/psf).

$/psf presumes that the 'square footage' any given 'space' in the building substantializes all its value and worth, regardless of who is using it or what goes in within it, and invisibilizes the 'price' of labor freely given towards the success of our overall enterprise, as well as any social/public-benefit dimension, by any subtenant using said space (as this in turn directly bears on determining how much one 'should' pay per square foot). Labor and space cannot actually be divergent from any analysis of how much a given space is 'worth' or which groups should pay and where. In purely economic terms, $/psf is an innately flawed analysis and entirely doxic on its own merits for the purposes of our project.

To put it another way. This analysis excises important real-life economic and 'value'-related variables that directly impact the viability of the project and directly impact any determination of '$/psf', such as:

  • 'which' subtenants actually contribute their uncompensated labor upon which the project also survives;
  • the entire moral-political logics of sliding-scale, donation-based, capacity-based contribution upon which the overall project was founded and also operates daily;
  • the additional integration of rental income for various spaces from outside sources;
  • the fact that some subtenants pay rent without having any dedicated space whatsoever;
  • the fact that some groups use shared spaces far more than others;
  • etc.

In other words, following the $/psf model described below would make it literally impossible to reconcile any numbers it generates with how income is actually produced to pay our expenses, nor should it imply (as it otherwise does) how much one 'should' pay for space without considering what goes on in that space.

With all these caveats in mind, old, preliminary estimates of $/psf with not-very-accurate room square footages can be found on: this spreadsheet.

The rates in the spreadsheet are based on the following assumptions:

  • We have a fixed target rent that we have to make every month. You can adjust the rent amount on the Summary sheet.
  • We want a specific fraction of that rent to come from dedicated space. Currently set to 50% on the Summary sheet - can be adjusted up if you want to more strongly discourage dedicated space.
  • $/sqft for individual rooms are scaled by a quality score. Each +1 in quality correspond to a 10% increase in $/sqft (adjustable from the Summary sheet).
  • I've assumed that almost all storage areas will eventually become dedicated space, even if they have not yet been allocated to individual groups yet. I've included those under a separate heading "rented".
  • Given the amount of rent we want to get from dedicated space, and the amount of dedicated space all groups want, we can calculate how much we should charge for each room to exactly match the rent.
  • Use of the shared space is priced separately, based on how many "shares" each group contributes. We'll need to specify how much use of the shared resources one share corresponds to - e.g. one share could be equivalent to 10 members hanging out at the Omni on a daily basis, or using one of the basement rooms once a week for a 2-hour class, or reserving the ballroom for an event twice a year.
  • Groups who also have dedicated space are also required to take on a minimum number of shares proportional to the square footage of their dedicated space. In other words, we don't want groups that will lock themselves into their space and never use the shared space. I have fairly arbitrarily set that minimum number to 1 share per 500 sqft (adjustable from the Summary sheet).
  • Groups who do not have dedicated space (or only have a bit of storage space) will need to make an honest calculation of how many "shares" of the shared resources of the building they will need. For now, I have picked the number of shares for BAPS and Oakland Nights Live to match the amount of rent they said they could afford to pay.
  • Once we have an allocation of shares in the shared space, we simply divide the remainder of the rent proportional to those shares.
  • The calculation of $/sqft for each of the rooms should only need to be done once (possibly updated if and when the total rent goes up, or if we make a policy decision to increase the %rent from dedicated space). The cost per share in the shared space may go up or down over time, depending on how many groups join or leave the Omni, and how much dedicated space actually gets rented. If groups leave, the remaining groups will need to shoulder a larger fraction of the rent, which will be reflected in a higher rate per share of the shared space.

--Patrik (talk) 12:22, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Distribution of Space

Current Distribution of Space

  • Sudo Room: South half of bocce ball court room
  • BAPS: mobile units - based out of a balcony room in the ballroom, having classes in unused space around the building as needed
  • Timeless, Infinite Light: 2nd floor, Balcony room above bar, on corner of Shattuck / 48th (NE corner)
  • Counter Culture Labs: North half bocce ball court room
  • Food Not Bombs: Shares basement industrial kitchen & food storage area with cafe-bookstore, hopefully serve food too upstairs to the community - either in the cafe, or the ballroom, etc
  • La Commune Cafe & Bookstore: Bar area, accessible via the front door at the corner of 48th and Shattuck
  • Material Print Machine: Southwest corner of the basement.
  • Rise Above: Accessible via the 48th St side entrance, just west of La Commune.
  • Omni Music Project: Inner library area of the basement.

Use of Shared / Common Space

  • Schedule-able shared spaces around the building are available for use on a sliding scale. See for more info on booking the common spaces, which include:
    • Ballroom
    • Parts of the basement (including three 200 sqft rooms and a 1200 sqft space that can be used as classrooms)
    • Upstairs disco room, for somatic activities such as yoga, dance and martial arts.

Use of Space

  • How do we envision using the space?
    • To collaborate on projects
    • To host classes and performances
    • To network, meet each other, welcome newcomers
    • To store resources for common use (or equitably restricted)
  • Concerns about use of space
    • Will there be commercial activity in the space?
      • Yes, bookstore/cafe will operate as businesses
    • will profit-sharing be required of profitable endeavors?
      • Ideally, consensus can be reached that profitable endeavors can help to subsidize rent/mortgage/property taxes

Financial Information

See also Business Model for Omni's membership structure and flows of income and expenditures.

  • Rental Terms
    • Expenses
      • Move-in Costs
      • Monthly Rent
    • Revenue
      • From Member Collectives
      • From Other Supporters
        • Loans
        • Donations
        • Grants

Legal Concerns

Here's the CA building code regulations regarding emergency exits and maximum occupancy etc.:

I believe we would fall under Occupancy Classification B - Business Group, which includes offices, educational occupancy above 12th grade, laboratories (for testing, research and instruction), print shops, professional services, training and skill development not within a school or academic program.


La Commune Cafe and Bookstore, Rise Above Graphics, Sudo Room and Counter Culture Labs are all wheelchair-accessible on the ground floor. The ballroom is accessible via a wheelchair lift via La Commune. The doorway to the Ticket Booth Room has been widened to enable wheelchair access.

Unfortunately, we do not currently have an ADA-accessible bathroom. The bathroom connected to La Commune is currently being renovated to become a single-occupancy ADA bathroom, but we have some work to do until it's complete. The bathroom in the hallway leading to Sudo Room and Counter Culture Labs is single-occupancy and can be utilized by those with some limited mobility.

We plan to have the ADA bathroom completed by May 15th. Long-term plans include an elevator lift to the basement and upstairs areas.


  • Comcast (yuck) will sell us 100/20 mbit lines for $115 per month per line (with some installation cost for second+ lines). Probably two of those lines would be enough.
    • They actually claim we'll get the advertised speeds as well.
  • Webpass contacted us but are super expensive. We asked them for free/discounted pricing due to excessive awesomeness. Have yet to hear back

Other Facilities

X Restrooms available now Y from October