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Melbourne - communal bike project space?

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by maduncle, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. This idea started recently on oohsam's bike build thread when some of us were lamenting on the lack of space we have to work on bikes.

    I have moved from over 40m2 to 6m2 in workshop space, and now have no room for bike projects. If I could afford to rent a small workshop in inner Melbourne somewhere I would - but it would make sense to share the costs.

    Other things like minded bike tinkerers might like to share include:

    1/. Tools. I am not a tool princess, if someone wants to borrow one of my tools then go for it. But - if a group of people shared a space then we would probably have tool lockers for security. Some of us might also chip in to buy a particular tool that we could not afford individually but would like to use (like a sand/soda blaster).

    2/. Experience. What a better way to learn than around fellow bike nuts! With each of us knowing a bit about something, together we would know a lot about bugger all!

    3/. Space. Even if you have a project bike taking up space at home that needs to be racked out of the way and kept dry, or if you have a ride that you like to use once in a while but you need to store it somewhere other than your apartment, if we had enough space we could lease bike storage space as well as provide communal workshop space.

    4/. Chill out time together. Look - without getting all 'mens shed' on the idea, providing guys with similar interests opportunities to connect and share is healthy. We might even get some money from the government towards creating a mens space.

    5/.Costs. Ultimately we share the cost of having a workshop by sharing one. If there are small factories going for $10,000 a year, we would only need 10 of us to commit to the lease and we could cover it.

    So - anyone else in Melbourne interested?
  2. Concept is great, execution would prove to be very difficult, I think. To be comfortable doing anything like that, there would need to be some fair level of security and a pretty good exit strategy. I sure as hell don't want to be the one with my name on the lease when everyone decides they're done. I'll have a think about the best way to structure it and get back to you.
  3. I'm keen on this...But the location may be of an issue for me to keep my bike there full time. I'd basically use it to do late night work, having a ute makes it easy to cart my bike around. I have a sandblasting cabinet and the neighbours dont like me sandblasting at night....or angle griding...or starting the bike etc.

    But I'm happy to go in on it for a normal share!...If its 10k a year (or abouts) and the chip in amount is reasonable (if there is 10 of us) I dont see the issue in propping up the share upfront. but Fitty is right. Would have to be done properly so no one feels stoojed. Peoples circumstances change, mine might change anytime so who knows.

    This would be great if it got rolling.
  4. You could also perhaps have some spare space to rent on a short term basis for one off projects and teaching jobs
  5. This is a great idea, I wish you guys the best of luck!
  6. maduncle in some countries in Europe such as Germany most people don't have the luxury like most Australians do of a large front/back yard, garage & shed. You had a garage/work space but now you don't and know the value of it better.

    Communal garages are very widespread in Germany where there is a large warehouse which has a certain number of car hoists, pits, abundance of tools and qualified mechanics on hand. You can use their facilities for as long as you want for a petty fee and if you ever get stuck can holler over a mechanic who will guide you or perform the task your stuck on again for a petty fee. I'll be going across Germany next year and can look in to the operations of how they do things if you'd like.
  7. After thinking about it, the only way you could do it without exposing someone to the liability of the lease would be to raise funds for all of the leasing costs prior to payment of the same. You would have to have a month to month lease, as well, to ensure that no one would be left carrying the can. Probably the best way to do it would be via an incorporated association, because I'm pretty sure there'd be some beneficial tax consequences of doing it that way.

    The other thing to consider with a commercial lease is that it's not only the rental that you pay - commercial tenants are obliged to pay all outgoings with respect to the property; insurance, rates, utility usage, etc.

    To save time and effort, it would probably be best to approach someone from Hartwell MC or Preston MC to see whether the concept is something they might be interested in.
  8. Sounds like a good idea, but as Fitty has said (and is doing) it needs a lot of planning.

    Just an idea, but you may be able to help cover those costs with more in-depth spanner nights, tutorials etc. Or even personal tuition if you have a few people that are good enough.
  9. A question for anyone who might know: When leasing "industrial" spaces such as the discussion here, is there provision for an "on-site caretaker" or similar?
    Or in other words, could someone move in to the space on a permanent basis?
    Might simplify things perhaps?
  10. It's a great idea, but would take a lot of capital to set properly I think...

    There are workshops in the uk where you just pay by the hour to use their fully set up garage, probably best run as a commercial venture.

    That said a community garage really is a great idea.
  11. You can lease any premises under any conditions you like, save that you have to be within the State and local government regulations. A lease is a contract, and a contract is simply formalisation of an agreement between two or more people; you can agree on anything you like.

    So if a property is zoned as residential and commercial you could live there and have a work space, yes.
  12. I get that it depends on zoning, but didn't word the question very goodly...
    Should've asked: "Does an 'Industrial' zoning also allow for a person to reside on the premises in a caretaking/security role"?

    I was just thinking that if one person took on the lease, lived aboard and sublet space out to others, it would simplify the legals.
    Also wondering what might happen if word got around that there was a shed full of bikes being left unattended at night...
  13. Cummunity garage, sounds like an acquaintances house i know, always random drop ins to take a looky into. The idea sounds great, the logistics of it could be a problem.

    If it ever does happen, would be cool to pop in and observe, learn, obtain advise.
  14. You would have to get special dispensation from local council to have a live-in in a non-residential zone.
  15. Thanks Fitty.
  16. I am well chuffed to see the conversation flowing here - thanks all for contributing.

    Fitty, I am glad you are thinking about how this would work, as I figured you might know something about it.

    I too was thinking 'up front' commitment from prospective users of the space - if we got a month by month lease and had a fair idea of the outgoings (I know that all water costs, power, gas, rates, and contents insurance would need to be covered), we could put out a provisional 'one years running costs total' for people to consider.

    If new people joined us part way through one year, we could calculate the balance of the year owing as the fee, and put that towards equipment in that year as we would have covered our running costa already. That new person could then start paying up front running costs the following year.

    We could offer bike storage to offset costs (I like the idea of calling it 'bike agistment' - like subletting a paddock to a horse).

    Spanner nights are a great idea too - as an informal get together to learn kind of thing.

    Club sponsorship or support is a good idea, and I had thought of Preston. Anyone here a member?

    Keep throwing in opinions folks - this can be a long discussion leading to an eventual decision much later in the year. I am still keen to get a small owner builder bike show on at the end of the year too - so Fitty if you have a good clean warehouse space available for one month in an inner Melbourne location in around November please let me know.
  17. Very neat idea!
  18. Thought you might like it - save you working out in the street on your projects.
  19. Yeah, it's not such a bad idea. I've heard of people doing it in places like NY and London. Hopefully I'll be getting some undercover area soon, if not garage specific. I'm going to start working on an engine soon becasue I don't have room for a whole bike.
  20. Yeah, and I am looking for a CB100 or 175 as a project bike because that is all the engine room I have in my shed!

    I am still hoping to do a bike owner builder show at the end of the year, that might then trigger some more interest in some shard space.