Proposal: Backspace Membership-Lease-Term (Backspace) 2014
Omni/Backspace Membership / Lease Term Proposal
What is Backspace?
Backspace is a dedicated place for relaxing, focusing, and meeting with friends and collaborators. We provide quiet spaces, social spaces, free WiFi, and tea. Our mission is to provide access to places, activities, and classes that facilitate the balance of mind and body, promote inspiration, and encourage everyday health and well being.
Overview of Proposal
Backspace strives to serve the community over the individual. We exist in a world that seeks to commodify, label, package, sell, and profit from even the most essential services once held in common. We know that the spa, co-working, and wellness industries have a reputation of catering to the rich and privileged and contributing to greater concentration of wealth, power, and resources in our cities. Backspace is committed to being an exception.
It is the goal of Backspace to provide wellness to the community, by providing access to spaces for quiet, relaxation, socializing, focusing, and healing. We’ve looked closely at the business models, pricing, and marketing tactics of the wellness and co-working industries. These industries tend to work by restricting access and selling it back to the community at a premium. Selling what is essential to thriving communities is not inline with the mission of Backspace and we believe not inline with the mission of The Omni.
So how do we create a sustainable space without resorting to high prices and/or outside investments? Simple, we co-create it. Sustainable communities are built on social investment, not financial investment. While money will certainly be involved and hopefully worker/owners of Backspace will someday be able to make a regular income through the project, the true value of Backspace is in the community we will create and serve.
With this in mind we are presenting a financial/membership proposal to The Oakland Omni Collective that is inline with the current goals of Backspace and the sustainability of the community.
Backspace will charge for core membership. Core members are active members who not only use the space, but co-create it as well. They can be full worker/owners or just members who pay for access to space and events with the following stipulations:
- Core members can share their membership with guests as long as guest members respect the space and other members. If a guest member becomes a problem, all members associated with the guest’s core and the core member themselves can lose membership status.
- All core members will be considered co-creators and stewards of the space
- Marketing will be kept to a minimum and new core members must go through a vetting process to help maintain a safe and sustainable community.
We are looking at our project in terms of stages:
- Stage 1, Founding, 3 months: Move in to The Omni with 3 – 5 founding members. Our focus will be on renovating the space. Turning rooms that haven’t been used in decades into beautiful, inspiring, sacred space.
- Stage 2, Opening, 3 months: Start holding events at The Omni in Backspace and other spaces throughout the building. The goal is to build interest and bring on 5 – 10 more core members.
- Stage 3, Up and Running, 6 months: Hold monthly events and maintain 10 – 20 core members.
- Stage 4, Expansion, 1 year: More renovations including the possible installation of a hot tub. Expand the membership to include 20 – 30 core members and a network of causal/guest members (50 – 100) who visit the space regularly.
Rent / Lease
In order to move forward Backspace has to be honest and responsible in our commitment of resources. With these stages and our commitment to a sustainable core membership in mind, we can commit to:
- 1 year lease (with the intention of renewing)
- $1000 / month
We believe that this pledge represents a reasonable and sustainable commitment. We welcome your feedback and look forward to working hard to make sure that The Omni Oakland Collective is a monumental success.
– Backspace Organizers