The Omni Commons is a 22,000 sq ft building, built as a meeting hall for the Ligure Club in 1933, on Shattuck and 48th. After decades serving as a social hub for members of the Oakland Scavengers club, appropriately enough, a garbage collecting collective, it was transformed into the Omni, a music venue featuring mostly heavy metal and rock that provides the namesake for this project.
As of 23 November 2015. Source: https://omnicommons.org/occupy/omni-commons-floorplan/
(This section deals with who has access to the space. For information on Accessibility, please see further below)
- Only members of member collectives are granted 24-hour access to the space.
- Members are asked to not occupy the space without at least one other member present for safety reasons.
- Members are not obligated to let non-members in to the space at any time.
- Members may ask non-members to leave the space at any time, for any reasons.
See also the Building Construction and Maintenance Working Group and our long list of things in the building ToFix!
- 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
Current Distribution of Space
- BAPS: mobile units - based out of the Blue Classroom and the Ticket Booth Room along Shattuck; having classes in unused space around the building as needed
- Counter Culture Labs: North half bocce ball court room
- Food Not Bombs: Shares basement industrial kitchen & food storage area with Phat Beets
- Liberated Lens: Room off of mezzanine above stage
- Material Print Machine: Southwest corner of the basement.
- Phat Beets Produce: Inner library area of the basement.
- Sudo Room: South half of bocce ball court room
- Timeless, Infinite Light: 2nd floor, Balcony room above bar, on corner of Shattuck / 48th (NE corner)
- Schedule-able shared spaces around the building are available for use on a sliding scale. See https://omnicommons.org/occupy for more info on booking the common spaces, which include:
- Ballroom, mezzanine, library and stage
- Entrance Hall: Front entrance area, accessible via the front door at the corner of 48th and Shattuck
- The Basement Hall as well as the Basement Library
- Upstairs Disco Room, for somatic activities such as yoga, dance and martial arts as well as the Upstairs Den near the public terminals.
- Several small rooms throughout the building, such as the Blue Classroom, the Ticket Booth Room, and the Treatment Room.
The Entrance Hall, 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 the Entrance Hall 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.
Long-term plans include an elevator lift to the basement and upstairs areas.
- Our current Internet Service Provider is LMI, serving us 100up/100down mbps. Several open wifi access points are available throughout the building. Learn more about peoplesopen.net!
Omniphonix - Asterisk server for VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
Use the "pay"phone outside the front door or VOIP phones throughout the building to call locations within Omni Commons.
8 Restrooms available now from October 2015
- Licensing and Certification
- Fire safety and occupancy
- Info on possible property tax exemption
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. http://www.ecodes.biz/ecodes_support/free_resources/2013California/13Fire/PDFs/Chapter%202%20-%20Definitions.pdf
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
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 defined area of the building substantializes all its value and worth, regardless of who is using it or what goes in within it, while at the same time invisibilizing entirely 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 which directly impacts our monthly expenses;
- the fact that some subtenants pay rent without having any dedicated space whatsoever (the 'shares' of common space model below is innately unfair to such groups)
- the fact that in practice some groups use shared spaces far more than others;
- the fact that some subtenants have other 'valuable' benefits such voting/consensus rights, potential future building-ownership rights / equity etc, while others do not,
- the fact that some subtenants that are for-profit businesses might alternately easily construe much of the expense 'per square foot' and labor 'donated' as investment in their business, while other subtenants have no profit motive,
Actually following the $/psf model as 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 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.
See also Business Model for Omni's membership structure and flows of income and expenditures.
Current Monthly Expenses
Each month, we pay roughly $17,000 for various expenses.
The $1000 rebate from the Security Deposit has ended. The remaining Security Deposit is $27,000.
- $13,000 + 3% = $13,390.
2015-2016 Allied Policy Renewal at $8363. We are being billed in 12 installments Sep 2015--Aug 2016.
- $8363/12 = $696.91
$647.74 for the 3-mo. period “OCT-NOV-DEC.” We are billed Nov-Dec-Jan.
- $647.74/3 = $215.91
The amount $9567.42 was paid by Landlord Dec 1 covering tax period July 2014-June 2015. We are being billed in 12 installments Jan-Dec 2015.
- $9567.42/12 = $797.28
Tax is $13.95 per $1000, paid for year in advance. Tax on the $390 portion is accruing, to be charged next year.
- (13)*$13.95 = 181.35
Revenue from Member Collectives
- Bay Area Public School: $1000
- Birdhouse Art Collective: $200 + utilities
- Counter Culture Labs: $2000 + utilities
- Global Women's Strike: $300 + utilities
- Liberated Lens: $100
- Material Print Machine: $600 + utilities
- Phat Beets: $750 + utilities
- Sudo Room: $2000 + utilities
- Timeless, Infinite Light/Publication Studios/Vouched Books/Durga Press: $550 + utilities(?)
'Total: $7550 + ~$2500 = $10,000/month'
Revenue from Other Supporters
The Commons Working Group works with many different groups and individuals that rent out spaces in the Omni. On average, space rental generates between $2000-$4000 each month.