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Case Studies and Resources

Inquiry on Ask-the-NCN

Alan Ziter, NTC Foundation, 2/16/16
As you know the NTC Foundation was established by the City of San Diego to transform 26 abandoned yet historic Navy buildings into a new Arts District.

In advance of my arrival in 2004 there were a number of studies that were done that may be beneficial to know about for this building that is planned to be transformed in Baltimore:

· Research Models attachment – the marketing study to determine what was needed in the community;
Examples of over 25 sites across the US that involved repurposing vacant buildings for various uses.

· Building Use Analysis – June 2001 – what uses in the community could the building address

· Asbestos Survey and Lead Paint Survey – especially beneficial for older buildings

· Preliminary Cost Estimate to renovate the building – need to determine if there are requirements for paying “living wage” or “prevailing wage” if you are using government funds as that will increase construction costs by as much as 30%. Also, need to determine occupancy loads in the existing space and what the new Occupancy Loads are needed to be as it may require the installation of more exits, including stairways.

Hope this is helpful.


Thaddeus Squire, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia
You may want to check in with Karen DiLossi of Partners for Sacred Places, copied here, as well as Jason Friedland of Iron Stone Strategic Capital Partners, two folks who have (or likely to have) case studies of the type you’re looking for.


Michelle Yawn, Winder Housing Authority, 2/16/16
We recently acquired a vacant middle school, which had been vacant for two years.


Brenda Wong, City of Edmonton, 2/16/16
Yes we are taking over a space which will be vacant in fall 2017 We are in the process of developing plans for that process.


Cheryl Spector, Spector Associates, 2/16/16
Our project, 910Arts was a transformation of blighted and vacant buildings, de-constructed to re-construct the mixed use facility we have now- 8 live-work lofts, 16 Studios, coffee shop/bistro and event venue/gallery, plus two non-profit galleries. Let me know what specific info would be helpful and I am happy to share it with you.


Mike Gilbert, The Jones Center, 2/16/16
Katie, the CFN @ St. Mary’s was abandoned and boarded up. There was a demolition contract on the desk of the CEO of the Mercy Hospital system. They gifted the building to us. It is home to 38 orgs and has an economic impact exceeding 25 million dollars.


John Powers, 2/17/16
Third Street Center, Carbondale, CO


China Brotsky, 2/17/16
The Thoreau Center was created in an abandoned Army building and, contrary to popular report, is still definitely functioning as a shared space.


Reid Henry, cSpace Projects, 2/17/16
We are repurposing a vacant 100 year sandstone school in Calgary, Canada for a multi-disciplinary arts and community hub – we purchased the vacant 3 acre site in 2012 and are mid-way through construction. The project has a few interesting features:

  • Located in a rapidly changing, inner city neighbourhood
  • Historic rehabilitation of a 42,000 s.f. listed building into non-profit office/program and artist studio space
  • LEED Gold (pushing for LEED platinum) – solar, rainwater retention, high efficiency systems
  • New build wing including a studio theatre, co-working space and social spaces
  • New public park and arts-infused gathering places
  • Two private sector developer partners building flats and seniors active living residences

I can forward the business plan on to you if you are interested in the project.


Marian A. Williams – Zan W. Holmes, Jr., Community Outreach Center
We did a vacant elementary school in Dallas, TX.


Doug Vilsack, Posner Center/Horse Barn, 2/17/16 –


Margie Zeidler, Urbanspace Property Group, 2/17/16
I would suggest Artscape Wychwood Barns here in Toronto. A project of Toronto Artscape.


Melissa Routley, Artscape
Several of Artscape’s Community Cultural Hubs are in formerly vacant or threatened properties – notably Artscape Wychwood Barns, Artscape Youngplace, Artscape Gibraltar Point and Artscape Distillery Studios. We have case studies of these properties and others in our portfolio at this link:


Dave Robinson, Fort Worden Public Development Authority, 2/18/16
Hi Katie,

We should also chime in here. The Fort Worden Public Development Authority (PDA) recently entered into a 50-year master lease to manage 90 acres (the Campus area) of a 432 acre State Park in rural western Washington (2 hour drive from Seattle). The Campus includes 73 historic buildings in a designated National Historic Landmark. There are 10 vacant buildings and several other buildings that are underutilized and in need of capital improvements—and ripe for housing new tenants. “Old buildings need new ideas” (Jane Jacobs).

Our mission is to manage the campus/conference center as a Lifelong Learning Center focused on arts, culture, recreational and educational uses. Within the campus there are 12 nonprofit partners—some with exclusive leases for buildings. We have over 400 beds for overnight visitors housed in a variety of overnight accommodations and 68,000 sq. feet of multi-purpose meeting rooms, two performance theaters, 500-seat dining hall, four museums, etc.

More information can be found on our website under About Fort Worden—look for plans and documents pertaining to the PDA.


Melanie Deas, Link Centre, 2/19/16
Link Centre was established in 2001 in a former church complex. I am happy to share any info you might find helpful.


Topics Below:

Meeting Room Set-up

Meeting Room Set-up


Ask-NCN 6/1/2017


Christine McCormick, 2506 LLC
Our nonprofit center, Community Partners Center, is located in Colmar, PA, about 45 minutes from Philadelphia. We have a large conference room that is used daily for our tenants and nonprofits. Our current provider for meeting rooms setups is no longer available as of 7/1/17. The tables are heavy and require two people to set them up. The meeting room has configurations like U shaped, classroom, groups and others. We are looking for other providers and/or tables that are easier to set up. Any ideas?


Shelby Bradbury, Sierra Health Foundation

We have lightweight rolling/folding tables and stackable chairs for our meeting rooms. The orgs are responsible for setting their meetings and resetting the room (to a standard hollow square configuration). They are easy to move around and they look nice. The electrical outlet is rarely ever used.
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Online Resource Center

NCN Webinar – All Access: Inclusive Design for Shared Spaces
NCN Webinar I Space for All: Inclusivity in Building Communities
Centre for Social Innovation’s Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Discrimation Policy

Family Services Center of NY: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan 2019-2020

Glasser-Schoenbaum Human Services Center’s Board Statement Supporting Diversity/Black Lives Matter – June 2020

Topics Below

Promoting Inclusive Shared Spaces

See also Values Statements

Promoting Inclusiveness

From an Ask-NCN Conversation, 2/2/16


Katie Edwards, Nonprofit Centers Network
Hi NCN members,

Diversity, equity and inclusion are hot topics in the nonprofit sector, and it’s come up in several of my recent conversations around shared space. How are we trying to promote these principles in our spaces and make them welcoming to people from all walks of life?

I’m looking for examples of initiatives in your centers that intentionally bring in more people from socially diverse groups to use your spaces. I’m also interested in efforts that haven’t been so successful. Why do you think they failed? What could we do better? What resources do you need to make this happen?
Thanks for your feedback!


Pam Mauk, Together Center, 2/3/16
In some areas we have some results. We have programs directed at different groups:

  • A “cultural navigator program” assists immigrants and others speaking Spanish and languages of India (and at a partner location Russian and Chinese).
  • A senior program run by Indian Association of Western Washington is off our lobby.
  • Our Advocate office by the lobby has a program for domestic violence survivors run by a major agency supporting the Spanish-speaking.
  • We will soon have a Muslim Cultural Resource Center (information, referral and counseling) one day per week in our advocate office.

The staff members of these organizations participate in our campus meetings and social events.

A group that was designed to address needs of immigrants and refugees (ERIC) has operated as a network and discussion group for a decade, and come up with some good solutions, such as the cultural navigator program. It is now working to get its own IRS nonprofit status: in the meantime Together Center is its legal sponsor. Once relaunched, it hopes to advise widely to businesses, government and nonprofts on the issues you mention. I mention them because the loosely organized group has some impact, but did not greatly impact local nonprofits. We are hoping that a group invested in the cultural competency mission might have greater impact on us and the community (ours is a very diverse community in the area of immigration and language: over 1/3 speak another language in the largest nearby city). A suggestion is then to bring in an organization in some capacity that has this expertise and mission.


Angela Baldrige, The Plantory, 2/3/16
We believe that the best way to invite diversity in is to be diverse. So we intentionally build a diverse and inclusive community. We subsidize our membership with fundraising. When we realized prices were still too high for a lot of social justice activists, we began providing sponsorships for organizations that meet missing factors of diversity in our space, and then work with these orgs to connect them to opportunities to support their sustainability and continued use of our space. For example, we connect groups with free social media management, donors who sponsor their membership, and interns. We also have an advisory council that helps with our program development, and that group represents various factors of diversity including client bases served by our populations. We involve our members in developing programming. We have a values statement as part of our ethos, and it is shared with all members when they apply. We host panel discussions on controversial topics and feature people from various perspectives and micro and macro levels. And we facilitate regular community interactions that are fun to support the building of relationships. Our staff interacts intentionally with diverse community members in and outside of the center, taking walks, getting coffee, etc. to build the relationships that we believe make the difference in understanding each other. We also call on the experts in our center to advise us (we are home to groups that are experts and advocates in LGBTQ issues, violence, education, access for people with disabilities, and more). Their advice is invaluable in shaping our approaches. We have an anonymous feedback system in addition to open channels to encourage free feedback.


Philip, CommunityWise Center, 2/19/16
Hello (and sorry this is a bit of a ramble)

This is a really important topic/issue. CommunityWise is developing an equity framework taking into account multiple factors to determine everything from how much rent we charge to different groups, who has and needs access to the space (and why), and to address barriers to participation from members in the governance of the centre. The last bit kind of sounds like the classic “why don’t they come to my meeting/event” when really CommunityWise needs to be better in tune or relevant to the needs of our very diverse members (some more than others). It’s a problem of the Non-profit Industrial complex as well. At this stage we want to be transparent with our members and ensure that thier contributions have an impact on these decisions and that it isn’t tokenization.

Through research focusing on our centre and from developmental evaluation of our own community development programs to members we are exploring ways in which to support specific groups and communities wich face systemic challenges, oppression, and limits to access to resources where other perhaps more mainstream or charitable organizations do not. It’s been really interesting at the board, committee, and community level to have these conversations over the last little while.

One way that we can do this is through developing a rental equity policy. Right now we are reframing our office rental costs for all of our tenant members. It has, in the past, been based almost entirely on the size of the space. What we find though is that it is not groups that would benifit the most from space that get it but rather well resourced groups that can use greater amounts of time and social capital or existing relationships with communitywise administration staff/board to persure vacant or more desirable space in our centre. This is a social problem broadly that may also appear in other non profit centres as well. We are working to now take into account additional things like relative access to funding, what the group uses the sapce for, levels of inclusivity within their own organizations, need etc. when determining cost of rent and access to vacant space in the centre. Not directly related to rent but in other forms of support and services we provide this has been something of an informal practice but now, with staff and board succession planning in mind, we want to solidify this in a tansparent manner.

With Equity in mind are there things that others have tried or policies applied when deciding who gets space and how much they pay for it?


Alan Ziter, NTC Foundation, 2/19/16
I appreciate your inquiry and I hope this information will be helpful.

1. NTC Foundation has stewardship over 26 historic buildings. We renovate them and then lease them out to a range of nonprofit, for profit and sole proprietor tenants.

2. With regards to leasing:
a. First off, lease rates are established based on 1) how much money we need to collect to financially operate the buildings and have a maintenance reserve and
pay debt service. The rates are aligned with the current market for similar space.
b. Generally we have a nonprofit rate, and a commercial rate. Rates may vary based on the size of the lease space, just as in the commercial real estate market.
c. There are many groups – that are nonprofit and commercial – that we wish to have in the ARTS DISTRICT, however they cannot pay the rent that we must
charge to stay viable.
i. For those groups, we provide a Rental Subsidy from grant funds we have secured that will allow them to be in residence for the first two years at a subsidized rental rate, in the hopes their being here will help them to grow their earned income or better engage their donors. Of course there are some groups that we continue to subsidize with annual rental grant
ii. The lease is structured to show the “regular lease rate” we would normally charge, but allow for a “rental grant” rate from which they pay.
iii. This is a win-win because the NTC Foundation will then ‘pay itself’ from the grant funds for the differential.
iv. Each year we ‘grant out’ over $300,000 in rental subsidies, but we are a much more diverse and successful Arts District by doing this….and our building stay well maintained and secure and 100% occupied!


Online Resource Center

An Introduction to LEED
Critical Considerations for Designing Today’s Interior Spaces (Dovetail DCI)
Working With Your Architect (Chicago Community Loan)
NCN Webinar I Better Build Outs: Managing Tenant Improvement
Serve Denton’s Floor Plan


Topics Below:

Shared Space Design Advice
Percentage of Space Used for Conference Rooms and Collaboration Spaces
Innovative Use for Open Space (Communal Dining)


See also:

Costs for Redesign Drawings
Inclusive Shared Spaces
Vacant Buildings Repurposed
Virtual Tours of Shared Space


Shared Space Design Advice

From Ask-NCN Conversation 5/24/2017


Lara Jakubowski, The Nonprofit Centers Network
We were asked to pass on the following question from an NCN member:
We are in the planning stages for a 35,000 shared space for 12 human services agencies in a 110,000 square foot building. We are looking for design tips since our architects don’t have extensive experience working on projects like this. What are the best design features you incorporated in your shared space project? What mistakes did you make in your design?


Mary Jo Shircliffe, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Storage space!


Shelby Bradbury, Sierra Health Foundation
Being thoughtful of parking for tenants and guests.


Misha Palin, The Lab
1) storage space is definitely on my list too. (if you’re doing an event space think about where you’ll put chairs, etc. Also, we didn’t put storage in the offices, so all our offices have to bring cabinets if they want to store anything.
2) security, where are there going to be security holes in your design?
3) trash…we put in 3 trash draws in our kitchens and they work well.
4) dishwasher so the kitchen doesn’t get piles of dishes.
5) IT thoughtfulness: Laying in the highest capacity internet cables…spending the extra money as the technology becomes outdated so quickly. How will your entire building get good wifi coverage…make sure the wiring gets thought through early
6) sound bleed. Don’t skimp on insulation and how your tenants will be affected by sound. Sound travels through ceilings as well.
7) our office walls have 1 glass wall each…it creates a fishbowl effect. I think it helps with keeping people from hiding out…but it’s also not the most comfortable…not sure how to resolve that. I think partial window decals or curtains could be a good compromise.
8) figure out how much you need to make in order to cover your expenses. NCN has suggestions about how much common space you should have vs rentable space. Just remember, common space won’t be making you money but will be an amenity and may be rented for events. Don’t get yourself into a bad place where you make awesome common space that looks great but are losing money on your office overall.


Pam Mauk, Together Center
We have supports at what we call our Front Door (at our three building strip mall), which include touchscreen map, telephones, offices for our information and referral, an advocate office and a cultural navigator office. We created these out of other spaces over time, but you might think of the type of help you will want at the entry while you are planning.


Kim Sarnecki, Tides
Make your space as flexible as possible. Walls that retract, furnishings on wheels. You will appreciate the ability to be able to adjust spaces as needed.


Charlene Altenhain, Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center
Our center was built in 1990 and we are constantly wishing storage was included in the design. Storage for us and our tenants. Be cognizant of parking if you offer conference rooms. We have enough parking spaces for our tenants and their day-to-day clients. However, tenants will frequently hold meetings in our conference rooms, sometimes with up to 50 people and then parking definitely becomes an issue. Stations and dumpster for recycling is also important.


Mike Gilbert, The Jones Trust
Before you begin to work with the design team, you might want to host a partners meeting and discuss workflows as community where you can identify the natural collaborative work that will evolve and try to position the layout where all organizations have opportunity to maximize these collaborative efforts. Consider a large open front lobby with lots of natural light where people can gather for small evening receptions, etc. It is good for meeting rooms to open to the lobby if possible. Think about lots of glass and think about a centralized workroom and breakroom that helps stimulate conversation among building partners. Storage is necessary, but is it as valuable as program space? Are there other opportunities for storage solutions? Try to keep everything as flexible and modular where possible.

Considering your long term operating expenses and make lighting, heating & cooling choices based on life cycle costs so that you capitalize your energy conservation choices and enjoy the benefits with efficient operating expenses over time. LED lighting and daylight harvesting are good investments as well as occupancy sensors. Think of how you will manage the heat and air controls in the space. (It is easy to have the building fight itself if there are too many controllable thermostats).

Think of how you can activate the building and grounds for a pop up event for community building.


Michele Vandentillaart, The Link
I have to ditto Charlene’s comments, parking, storage, staff space and their storage needs, event supply storage are all very important as well as janitorial/maintenance space with slop sinks.


Valerie Hill, Center for Social Change
Our members have two favorite space features- our kitchen and our meditation room.
Our meditation room is a small space open to members all day but we also have guided meditations once a week as well as offer free 15min wellness sessions (massage, reiki, acupuncture, etc) once a month on a first come first serve basis.Our kitchen has a microwave, stove/oven, toaster oven, blender, juicer, etc and our members love to use it. If you do this, make sure you have windows or some sort of ventilation. A dishwasher is absolutely a smart move, we wish we had made! We have recently started composting and if there is an easy way for you to integrate that into your kitchen, I highly recommend it. It is also nice if possible to place your kitchen near natural light if you want to have a small herb garden.

Another popular feature is our home-made phone booth, it was a closet that we turned into a private area with sound proofing and a glass door.

I highly recommend looking into the best lighting because we have florescent lights throughout our building that nobody likes- there are studies about it triggering migraines and other issues. We end up turning off most of the lights and relying on lamps and window light for a more homey feel. My co-worker recommends LED lights and specifically color-changing LED lights in spaces where you may have frequent events. No need to hire a lighting company for an event, when it’s already built in!


Percentage of Space Used for Conference Rooms and Collaboration Spaces

Ask-NCN 4/25/2017


Debbie Shoemaker, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
I am looking to see what existing nonprofit centers planned for conference room space? We are a nonprofit community foundation. We have bought a building and are now in the design process. Our community spaces will be in an area of around 8,000 square feet. We will have a large conference room, a co-lab space, a kitchen and some lounge areas. Does anyone have any experience on what percentage of that 8,000 sq ft should be conference room?


Mark Krider, Carroll Nonprofit Center
We have a 40,000 sq. ft. building with 24 nonprofits, we have just over 3000 sq. ft. of conference room space that can be divided equally into 3 rooms via portable walls, and it still not enough. I think the question is how large is your large conference room you already have, and what will it accommodate, a lot of board meeting we host can be anywhere from 12-20 people, we also have it where we can change the room to classroom style to host trainings up to 24 people. Or open all three rooms to host a conference, or a very large training, as many as 80 people. So its really what you are comfortable space wise on given up and what you are planning on hosting. I will say outside nonprofits do use our conference rooms so they are continuously being used. Remember a lot of meetings like to have some sort of food or drinks so have space allocated for that. I like to use the 40 sq. ft. per person for conference room space.


Angela Baldridge, The Plantory

We have about 15000 square feet, and we have 11 conference rooms. This is enough, but we sometimes convert one of our flexible spaces for events too. We stay pretty busy, with over 1000 people using them every month (and we’re in a pretty small market). We surveyed our members and the nonprofit community before building to get a sense of how much space to allocate and what it should be like; we have a large conference room that seats 80ish, a board room, two more board-size rooms, a yoga studio, and then 5 smaller (2-4 person) rooms. Then we also have an open coworking area that can be rented out along with our gallery. We have reservations every day at least, and our members get 10 hours of conference time included per desk so they also use the rooms regularly.

Innovative Use for Open Space (Communal Dining)

Ask-NCN 12.12.17


Kelsey Collier-Wise, United Way of Vermillion
We’re in the process of designing our center and would love some feedback/examples. One of the things that will be housed in our space is a once-a-week community meal that will require a large communal dining space. The rest of the week, we’d like to look at ways to partition or rearrange the space for other uses. If you have a large open space that you use in interesting or innovative ways or know of similar examples, please share!


Carlie Kuban, Serve Denton
Here is the floor plan for our shared space, the Serve Denton Center. We are located in Denton, TX. We have different options for shared space – large conference room, classroom, cafe area, and individual counseling rooms that can be booked. We add a monthly charge for agencies in the building to use the shared spaces, and then offer it as a one time fee for any other organizations that want to book these spaces. We’ve discussed using the conference room space for additional desks for our “hot desk” users throughout the week, depending on the need. We plan to use the conference room for educational seminars, social service group lunches, fundraisers, collaboration workshops, and more.


Diane Kaplan Vinokur, University of Michigan (Retired)
You may want to check out the Posner Center for International Development in Denver. They have a lunch space that is also used for community assemblies, presentations, etc.

Kitchens #communitykitchens #sharedkitchen #kitchenpartnerships

Topics Below

Shared Kitchen Etiquette

Repurposing Kitchen Query

How To Be a Shared Kitchen Pro – from The Alliance Center

Fork Forage – from The Alliance Center

See also:

Behavior Modifications – Doing the Dishes

Shared Kitchen Etiquette

From an Ask-NCN Discussion

Katie Edwards, Nonprofit Centers Network, 9/8/14
I was recently asked by a group who has recently reopened their space about best practices for shared kitchens. This is one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about nonprofit centers, so I’d like to hear what your pain points are and what you’ve done to try to solve them. Do you rotate kitchen clean up duty among your partners? Post rules and deadlines? Give out rewards when someone unloads the dishwasher?
How have you tackled the issue of sharing a kitchen?

Ardi Korver, Region V Systems, 9/8/14
Eight agencies share the space; appx. 100 individuals are in the building. Our agency rents the building and sub-leases to the building partners. Two people/week are assigned ‘kitchen duty.’ Instructions on what they do is listed below…so maybe twice a year, each person is responsible for the weekly cleaning, i.e., dishwasher, frig, cleaning tables, etc. It works really well…and everyone helps out.

As part of our ‘Building Partner Manual’ the following is listed under a heading, “What is available to me as a building partner?”
C. Kitchen/Break Rooms
For your convenience, there is a kitchen/break room on the main-level and in the lower-level. Feel free to use the refrigerator, microwave, dishes, glasses, and silverware as well as pitchers of water and coffee for your meetings; however, please rinse and place all dirty dishes in the dishwasher when finished, and hand wash pitchers and return to the break room. The main-level kitchen/break room has a coffee machine and water cooler; the lower-level kitchen/break room has a coffee machine, water cooler, and a hot water dispenser. Please make a new pot of coffee when low or empty and replace the water bottle on the water cooler when empty.

Region V Systems strives to provide an environment that is welcoming and communal, but also respectful of all individuals. We encourage everyone to hold themselves to the following guidelines to promote such an environment:
Label the Food; Follow the Label
Whenever possible, put your name on your food or label it as “Free Food,” if it is open for others to take. If you have purchased items for a specific event, please label them clearly with the name and date of the event.
Participate in Potlucks and Other Events
For group events, participate and contribute what you are able. Participate to the level that you are comfortable. Remember, your participation is voluntary.
Share Food Gifts and Leftovers
Gifts of food to Region V Systems (i.e., from vendors) or substantial leftovers from meetings should be placed in the break room and notification sent via e-mail to Region V Systems staff and building partners that it is available. Remainders should be labeled “Free Food” and stored appropriately. Condiments not labeled with an individual or event name are for use by anyone but should not be taken home.
Consider Event Placement
When hosting an event that is not open to everyone in the building, you are encouraged to reserve a conference room and not use common space (i.e., break room). Also, be mindful to send notifications to those invited (i.e., no overhead announcement)
.Keep It Clean
When hosting an event, you (or your team) are responsible for clean up afterwards. If you are participating in an event, such as a potluck, you are welcome to help clean up as well. In addition to cleaning up after ourselves, we have a schedule on a rotating basis to do basic cleaning of the kitchen/break room areas. Schedules are posted in the kitchen/break rooms with a list of duties and an e-mail reminder is sent to you at the start of your scheduled cleaning week. If the dates you are scheduled for kitchen duty do not work for you, it is your responsibility to find someone to trade with you.

What does the staff cleaning crew do:
Start and empty dishwasher.
Wipe and straighten up tables.
When needed
Recycle newspaper (main level); take to recycle room (room #158) or place in recycle box located in kitchen/break room.
Replace paper towels (new paper towels can be found in the fiscal area, see Danielle Belina).
Set out plastic ware for people to take home.
Clean microwaves.
Clean out refrigerator.
Clean sink and counter top.
Take home dishtowels/dishcloths to launder.

Christina Crawley, OpenGov Hub, 9/9/14
At the OpenGov Hub in Washington, DC, we also appreciate the kitchen tidiness issue. Because no amount of rules seem to trump (sometimes strange) human habit, we've opted to remain extremely light on kitchen rules and supplies. We no longer supply dishes, cups or cutlery because of the reality that dirty things are left on counters. Tenants are welcome to use recyclable coffee cups and cutlery, but any real dishes/cups/cutlery are their own responsibility. If tenants wish to bring their own dishes/cups/cutlery (and many do), they are welcome to use/store/clean them in the kitchen; however, if they are left dirty anywhere in the hub, they are simply thrown away
.It seems a bit harsh, but the community agrees that cleaning is always an issue and therefore accept the warning/responsibility regarding their own kitchenware property.
Also, we do a fridge purge (we have 4 large fridges) once every 2 weeks. Tenants are given a week's warning and only unopened drinks are allowed to stay.
Hope that's helpful!

Maureen Moloughney, Heartwood House, 9/10/16
Thanks so much for your feedback on community kitchen cleanliness as we've just tightened the conditions for our kitchen as well. One of the significant changes is to limit the use of the dishwasher to community events only, rather than daily use for lunch dishes and coffee cups. These can simply be washed, dried by hand and immediately put away. Our hydro bill has reduced by a few hundred dollars per month with this simple change. We no longer permit participants from programs to go into the kitchen without a staff person and we keep the kitchen door closed. We also lock the kitchen after 4p.m. leaving members the option to access the kitchen with their key, if needed. These changes have stepped up the attention to the cleanliness of the kitchen and the efficient use of it. Everyone also knows that our reception staff keep a close eye on the kitchen throughout the day. They know who accesses the kitchen and they are on it if they find the kitchen in poor condition. We also remove unmarked items from the fridge every second Friday. If someone wants an item to stay means he/she will put his/her name on the item.

Kitchens at home and kitchens at work…..leave no room for the messy ones to just walk away and leave the cleanup to someone else!

Tom Olivas, Girl Scouts Orange County, 9/10/14
After working through a complete list of different options, we have put similar procedures to Moe’s and Christina’s in place. The dishwasher is restricted for special events, refrigerators are cleaned out every two weeks and our contracted custodian cleans the counters, tables and appliances four nights a week. This process has worked out well and eliminated a lot of frustration.

Repurposing Kitchen Query

From an Ask-NCN Discussion

Mike Gilbert, The Jones Center, 3/1/16
One of our Centers is in a former hospital. The kitchen has been used by the Community College Culinary program for the last six years and they have outgrown the space and are moving. I am looking to begin using the kitchen as shared space and need resources to research in order to develop my business plan for the space. The materials I think I need are for guidance on programming, marketing and natural partnerships. I also need the things I do not know that I need, if anyone knows what that might be!

Annette Paiement, Cotton Club Coworking & Project Space, 3/1/16
There is a space called the Kitchen Collective in Hamilton, Ontario which might prove to be a good resource. There is also another space called Roux Commissary.

Margie Zeidler, Urbanspace Property Group, 3/1/16
And here’s a super article about kitchen incubators in NYC
Some for-profit, some not-for-profit.

"How to be a Shared Kitchen Pro" from The Alliance Center

Allison Reser, Tenant & Visitor Coordinator of The Alliance Center, emailed this to the tenants:

  1. Wash, dry and put away your dishes. Bonus points if you do someone else's dishes.
    • Next time you go to wash your dishes, go ahead and put away the dishes that are dry and wash all the dirty ones. If we all get in the habit of this, someone will return the favor.
  2. Put your name on EVERYTHING.
    • Find yourself a sharpie, and label all of your tupperware or any other personal belongings you might bring into the office. Otherwise, chances are that it will disappear into the abyss.
    • Don't forget labeling things in the freezer!
  3. Return communal dishes to their proper place.
    • The Alliance Center supplies forks, spoons, knives, plates, bowls, cups and mugs for you to use. There are be 6-8 of each item in the kitchenettes on the upper floors, and the remainder belong in the first floor kitchen. you don't ave to bring one up! Dishes and silverware tend to migrate up when you make your lunch on the first floor and eat it upstairs.
    • Please return Serendipity mugs to Serendipity.
    • Do not take communal dishes/silverware home!
  4. Share and eat leftovers. (We are already great at this!)
    • On the first floor, any food/beverage that's on the community shelf in the fridge or left out on the silver tables is up for grabs. Please put the date and allergy information on leftovers you intend to share. And if you're hungry, check here before you buy something!
    • What is the community shelf, you ask? It is the top two shelves in one of the refrigerators on the first floor. It is marked with orange tape!
  5. If you make a mess in the microwave…
    • …clean the mess in the microwave!

Rewards for a clean kitchen:
Here's some of the things Alliance Staff will do to incentivize shared kitchen cleanliness:

  1. If you notice someone doing a lot of dishes, or doing any other random act of kindness, let us know! We will reward them!
  2. We will be adding labeling stations in the kitchens.
  3. In addition to monthly refrigerator clean-outs, we will do regular Tupperware purges, the first one starting yesterday. All unclaimed containers will be moved to the first floor and become communal. If you'd ever like to borrow tupperware, you may do so from the stash on the first floor.
  4. On April 18, you are invited to the Fork Forage. This is a catered lunch for tenants, but in order to enter, you must bring 10 forks (or other excess dishes on your floor) down to the first floor. More details to come! Reserve the time on your calendar.



Fork Forage @ The Alliance Center

(follow up to Allison's "How to Be a Shared Kitchen Pro")

Dear Tenants,

As part of my role here at The Alliance Center, I go around to the kitchenettes on each floor periodically to clean them up. Among things like putting out clean towels, washing dirty dishes, and refilling soap, I collect dishes that have migrated upstairs and bring them back down to the first floor. Here's what the cart typically looks like after I do this:
Kitchen Cart - Dish Forage.jpg

I need your help to maintain kitchen homeostasis!

Each kitchenette on the upper floors should have 6-8 of each communal kitchen item- small plates, large plates, bowls, FORKS, spoons, glasses and mugs. However, when you make your lunch on the first floor, eat it in your suite, and wash the dishes on your floor, you are essentially carrying kitchen items upstairs. Forks especially tend to collect on the upper floors. I'm asking for your help in bringing them back down, but I'm going to try to make it fun…

Fork Forage
Tuesday, April 18, 12-1pm
First Floor Event Space
The Fork Forage is a free, catered lunch for tenants, but you MUST bring down 5 or more forks (or other dishes in excess) from your floor's kitchenette down to the first floor to gain access to the meal! Here's how it will work:

  1. On your way down to the first floor, scan your floor's kitchenette for excess dishes. There should only be 6-8 small plates, large plates, bowls, FORKS, spoons, glasses and mugs.
  2. Grab at least 5 forks or other dishes in excess and bring them downstairs.
  3. Put the dishes away in the proper location on the first floor, and receive your meal ticket from Alliance staff.
  4. If the kitchenette on your floor already has the proper amount of small plates, large plates, bowls, FORKS, spoons, glasses and mugs (no more than 8 of each), then put away all dry dishes, wash all dirty dishes, and snap a picture (preferabbly a selfie) of your kitchenette in it's perfectly clean state. Show this picture to Alliance staff to receive your meal ticket.
  5. Enjoy your meal in the first floor event space with fellow tenants, and don't forget to wash your dishes and leave them on the first floor!

BONUS! Whoever finds the jewel fork (pictured below) and brings it to the first floor kitchen will receive a special prize.

Jewel Fork for Fork Forage.jpg
Add this event to your calendar

Finally, (thank you for reading this far through the email) if you have any favorite types of food or caterers, let me know! I'd like to support local, yummy restaurants for the Fork Forage if possible. Thank you!


Topics Below

Gender-Neutral, Male/Female, Family Friendly
Restroom Safety & Security

Restrooms – Gender-Neutral, Male/Female, Family Friendly


From an Ask-NCN Discussion, 5/3/16



Dominic Lucchesi, The Brower Center, 5/3/16
With the recent events in North Carolina and elsewhere, the issue of providing gender neutral restrooms has come up recently in our space here at the Brower Center. Our building is fairly dynamic with members of the public, private event guests, and building tenants all sharing the building each day.
Each floor currently includes separate male/female restrooms.
I’m curious to know if anyone in the group has had any experience with transitioning to gender neutral bathrooms. Has the conversation come up in your space? How have you tried to balance the needs/beliefs of all building users?



Juliane Mayne, Arts Habitat Edmonton, 5/3/16


Doug Vilsack, Posner Center for International Development
We have gender-neutral restrooms downstairs at the Posner Center, mainly because we didn’t have enough space to have decently-large male/female restrooms on each floor. There are no urinals, only small rooms with locking doors. The restroom on the second floor was supposed to be gender-neutral as well, but a group of women in our building revolted about not having their own restroom when we opened and that was not a battle I wanted to fight! Our experience with our gender-neutral restroom has been positive, and most folks in our building are very used to it by now. That said, it does cause some stress for our many visitors from developing countries where unisex bathrooms are unheard of and not culturally appropriate.


Tonya Surman, Centre for Social Innovation
We only do ‘All Gender” Rest Rooms now… they are awesome… create amazing collaboration and connection, save space and are truly inclusive…a little word… we have had lots of politcal drama’s up here about the topic and have arrived at “All Gender” instead of Gender Neutral… cause actually, all genders are welcomeA key to the solution was the creation of a ‘super elite’ universal access rest room where people who use wheelchairs, need showers or prefer more privacy can still find it in the mix.
works like a charm.


Faisal Abid, The NonProfit Center of Boston
At the NonProfit Center of Boston, we have a male and female restroom on each floor. In an effort to be more inclusive, we built out a separate single occupancy/gender neutral restroom on one of our floors that is also fully ADA compliant. We added signs in each of our existing restrooms that notify visitors and tenants that there is another option if they are more comfortable.
We have had this now for about two years and have found that it is appreciated by tenants and visitors to our center alike. It’s also directly next to our mothering room and doubles as a changing station when needed. We’ve had no issues whatsoever with any of our tenants since they still have the option of using gender specific restrooms. Highly recommend having one available!


Dominic Lucchesi, David Brower Center
Here is a look at the signage that we placed outside all of our restrooms this morning:
Inline image 1
Inline image 1

I think there is some more work to be done, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction. Any feedback would be most appreciated!


Misha Palin, Citizen Engagement Laboratory
When we opened in March we were asked by one of our potential tenants what we could do to have more inclusive restrooms. As we were remodeling we spoke to the architects, general contractors, and building owners to see what would be our options. We have multiple stalls in each bathroom and we were not allowed to have all gender bathrooms according to building code.Our solution was to place a sign inside and out of each restroom and I offer keys to single use bathrooms on different floors for anyone who would feel more comfortable using single-use bathrooms.
Thank you for all the examples of signs and videos. They would have been helpful as we navigated this territory.Here are the resources I consulted:

Inline image 1
Inline image 1


Dustin Barrington, HNS Life Center
We are in a more conservative community, so no one has expressed much interest in gender neutral restrooms thus far.Assuming, however, that this could happen, we do have a “single use” restroom adjacent to the Men’s and Women’s restrooms that also has a changing table and is designated for Families. Our original intention was to serve parents of either gender who may need to change a diaper. By default, it is available for anyone that feels more comfortable not sharing a restroom regardless of their reason.This provides a useful hygiene option without requiring us to define a position.


Angela Baldridge, The Plantory
We have gendered (male/female) restrooms with individual stalls in them (no urinals) so people can have privacy but can use the restroom that best fits their identity, and we have a single unit restroom with a shower and changing table so that folks have another option if they don’t identify with the binary genders, or if they just want to use a single bathroom. Our staff intentionally uses the single unit one so that use of that bathroom isn’t some sort of signifier. We were required to have separate restrooms by code, but we are changing our signage soon to make them more inclusive as well.

Restroom Security & Safety


From Ask-NCN 2.23.18


Remy-Anne Viajar, Sobrato Family Foundation
We are interested to hear what other groups have done to address restroom safety, security and access at any of their centers/ buildings.
Due to an increasing amount of serious safety/ facility related issues (including tenant complaints) surrounding our restrooms, we are considering having all of our restrooms locked and requiring punch code to gain access.

To make things a bit more interesting, here are some of our fun facts about our building:

  • We operate a 2 story, multi-tenant (13) building, a little over 100,000 sq.ft
  • We only have 1 FTE onsite (M-F from 8am-5pm)
  • Within this building we operate a very busy conference center, that outside organizations also use.
  • On any given day, our Center hosts government and community leaders and our tenants’ clients, which include families, children, individuals with developmental disabilities, individuals in homelessness, and people struggling with mental illness.
  • We are also located adjacent to a tent camp for homeless individuals

We strive and want to keep our environment warm and welcoming to all, but unfortunately seem to have reached the tipping point where controlled access is now needed. Look forward to your feedback and welcome suggestions!


Judy Lind, Kukui Children’s Center
We operate a similar center in a similar neighborhood.
All of our restrooms are locked. Every employee has a key and we keep keys in the conference room.
That has worked well for us.
As for access, the front door is open from 7:30 to 5pm, 7 days a week. All tenant ED’s have a key which allows them access before and after those hours. There is a gate to the parking lot that automatically opens at 7:30 am(earlier on days the garbage company comes) and closes at 6:30 p.m. Anyone in the parking lot can still exit. There is a code which tenants have to operate the gate manually if they need to let someone in.
There is an intercom to each office by the front door. If someone needs to come in after normal operating hours, the person calls the program who comes to open the door. We don’t open it remotely because we want to see who is coming in.
We also have video cameras all around the building. When there have been incidents, the police can access the video which has happened several times. The recordings self erase every 30 days and can be accessed by our property manager.
Hope this helps.


Valerie Hill, Center for Social Change
We are dealing with the same tipping point….
We occupy about 3 floors of an 8 floor office building.All of our members have nearly 24/7 access to the space, so we needed solutions that are secure but not prohibitive to easy use of the space.

We installed cameras only facing entrances/exits as to intrude as little as possible. The blink cameras were bought off amazon and send video to a cloud when triggered by motion. We only have them set to record outside of staffed hours at this point. You can also purchase very cheap fake cameras with AA battery powered blinking lights to look real.

We have schlage locks from home depot with codes on our bathrooms and main doors. All of the bathrooms have the same simple code which is posted inside our space. I highly recommend this over physical keys as they were always getting lost, left in bathroom, etc.

For the main space entrance doors, I would not recommend the code solution we have, too easy for people to share. We are about to take the next leap to access control with Salto systems, built for co-working. Each person with have a key fob which we can deactivate easily if needed. Soon they will upgrade the system and people can use a phone app for entrance instead.

As far as guests, I am working on reusable guest lanyards that would list which org the person is visiting. Looking for other ideas!


Online Resource Center

NCN Webinar I Transitions
NCN Webinar I Better Build Outs: Managing Tenant Improvement

From the webinar “Better Build Outs: Managing Tenant Improvements,” October 26, 2011.


Broker Perspective – Anthony Shell
Listing Representation – works on behalf of landlords, leasing and marketing space on their behalf
Why hire a listing broker?
You have someone who will market the space to the entire market and puts a professional face on the building.

Hire a broker: If the building is Large, lots of vacancy, absentee landlord, or repositioning and rebranding the space.


Building Team

Architect – important that they are willing to learn what can or cannot be done with the building. Smaller, one-person firms are usually very economical and very valuable

General Contractor – very important from the cost side of this, and can help to reduce the tenant improvement costs for what they do

Project Manager – helps with the move-in/move out process. Time saver



  • Creates lease document with landlord for use with all tenants
  • Negotiates lease terms with tenants, tenant’s attorney
  • Important from liability standpoint for landlord


Tenant representation – works on behalf of tenants, surveying market, available options, touring, negotiating, proposals, and leasing


Work done on specific suite for tenant
Usually completed by landlord for tenant as part of lease transaction
Landlord benefits from controlling who does construction in building on behalf of tenant
Tenant is occasionally permitted to do construction, however with authorization from landlord on who does work/what work is to be done“


SOFT COSTS: Any non-construction items related to build out of space
Architectural drawings (space plans, construction drawings)
Permitting costs“


Actual construction done in space
Includes items such as demo, framing, sheetrock, paint, carpet, etc.


“TURNKEY” TENANT IMPROVEMENTS: • Tenant improvement package done on behalf of tenant by landlord that includes everything related to work • Both hard & soft costs • Pros:Great selling point to prospective tenants, excellent if proposed tenant improvements are inexpensive for landlord • Cons:If landlord is not aware of total hard/soft costs, can leave landlord exposed • For smaller projects, turnkey is best solution


Landlord provides a dollar allowance per sf for tenant to use as they want for the space
Landlords traditionally want to use building general contractor for work, even if tenant is deciding what to or not to build in space
Whether allowance includes hard & soft costs is part of deal negotiation


Important for landlord to understand/price likely tenant improvement requests from tenants
Walk all available spaces with general contractor
Determine tenant improvements for each individual space
Bid all work through general contractor to understand price ramifications of work
Factor likely work in to rent numbers
Full understanding of likely tenant improvements will allow landlords to push turnkey tenant improvement packages at higher rental rates



  • Suite:1,000 SF
  • Estimated improvements:Carpet, paint & some demo/touch up items.Est. = $10/SF
  • Total tenant improvement costs:$10,000
  • Proposed lease length:3 years
  • Interest rate:7%
  • Cost to tenant:$.31/SF
  • Proposed asking rent w/ no tenant improvements:$1.50/SF
  • Proposed asking rent w requested tenant improvements:$1.81/SFIn short, you will need to charge tenant $.31/SF/month extra on rent to complete tenant improvements.


• Overall, space use should be in line with project “feel”
• For office buildings, lease to office tenants
• If retail building, lease to retail
• Willingness of project to handle tenant improvements on behalf of incoming tenant is based on overall deal terms, as well as ability to reuse new tenant improvements in future.


Generally, any build-out that is outside of traditional tenant improvement or office use should be paid for by tenant (either directly or through add on to rent).

  • Huge private offices (“ego offices”)
  • Dense office or conference room build out
  • Pony walls (half height wall with a built in cubical) or built-in cubes
  • Extra plumbing


• For smaller projects, “As-is” leasing can be utilized
• Important to get spaces in clean, ready condition
• Paint touch-up, carpet shampoo are alternatives to new carpet & pain
• Explanation to tenants is any tenant improvements will be at their cost & expense



  • Market property in local paper, craigslist, social media (facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter)•
  • If procuring broker brings tenant to project, explain that commissions are paid by tenants at project
  • Still important to put together marketing flyer for building



  • Following points above, get spaces into market-ready condition and have space plan done for each space
  • Include space plan for lease or sublease exhibit
  • No new space plans for tenants who do tenant improvements on space themselves/Space planning is at tenant’s cost, as is build-out


If tenant improvements are to be done, landlord’s contractor is one doing it
Work that is done is per the lease negotiations, nothing more
If tenant improvement allowance situation, landlord’s contractor still does work
Any contractor working in building on behalf of tenant is approved by landlord

•Lease and sublease documents will have sections outlining how and who will handle the build-out
•One of main issues in section is what happens if delivery of possession is delayed
•If work is delayed, offer free rent as landlord penalty
•Traditional penalty timeframe is 30-90 days past when space was supposed to be delivered to tenant
•Landlord should push for 90, tenant will push for 30


Lease Exhibits
Delivery of Possession
Turnkey Tenants Improvements
Tenant Improvement Allowance


Project Management Perspective – Kim Frentz Edmonds
Project Management – comprehensive from financing, pre-construction, construction, and tenant move in.

Project Management is planning everything possible ahead of time, and then it’s all keeping things on track.

What is your schedule? What are the activities that have to go into it?
Time is money
-Lease payments and interest
-Tenants have to give notice in their existing space, so you don’t want to leave too much delay
-Lost rent if the tenant could’ve been move in.


Who is the project manager?

  • If you have a large enough organization and center, where you have in house staff with construction experience and can have dedicated time for the project, then do it in house
  • If it is really small, the architect can be the project manager. You still need a liaison from the landlord. to make sure the timing and financing is working.
  • Bring on a third party project manager for large, complex projects, especially if you don’t have staff with construction expertise.


The Work Letter
This is a lease exhibit that identifies who is doing what, landlord vs. tenant.
-Submission requirements and Landlord review: Schedule, Budget, Plans, Permits, Insurance, Subcontractors
-Schedule for completion and delivery of space
-Define terms
-Landlord needs oversight of the work if the tenant is doing the work


Common Terms
-“Core and Shell” -Core and shell covers base building elements such as structure, envelope, common areas, elevators and the HVAC system.
-“TI” –Tenant Improvements includes the components of the space not included in Core and Shell.
-“TI Allowance” -Tenant Improvement Allowance is funds provided by Landlord for use in construction of Tenant Improvements.
-“Approved Plans” –Plans reviewed and approved by Landlord and then approved and permitted by relevant agencies.
-“Specifications” –Detailed descriptions of components, fixtures and equipment included in construction scope.
-“Substantial Completion” –When construction is sufficiently complete so the owner can occupy or utilize the work for the use for which it is intended.

  • WHO MANAGES THE BUILD-OUT? Tenant-Sophisticated tenants with construction management capacity -Limited scope improvements with specialized knowledge requirements Landlord-Projects that involve work with complex or major building systems -Projects that are time sensitive and cause potential disruption for other tenants
  • HOW TO MANAGE THE FINANCES? Tenant Disbursements -Evidence of Tenant funds -Typically must be made before Landlord funds invested -Track disbursements and require lien waivers from contractors Landlord Disbursements -Two party to contractor/Tenant -Reimbursement to Tenant -Directly to contractor with Tenant review and approval
  • HOW TO MANAGE THE LOGISTICS? -COMMUNICATION with all tenants -Specifics of scheduling –hours of work, hours for deliveries, hours for noise, utility disruptions -Specifics of deliveries –paths of travel and storing materials -Use of elevators and other common areas -Planning ahead to mitigate unforeseen problems . Triggering alarm systems . Damage to building systems . Other
    Must have continuity from the beginning to the end of the project, making sure that all of the specifics are documented, as well as milestones which may trigger legal requirements.


Landlord – Paula Mayo, The Interchurch Center
The Interchurch Center

  • Located on the Upper West Side of New York City
  • Houses offices and agencies of various religions, and of ecumenical and interreligious organizations
  • All organizations housed in the building are 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations
  • Construction was completed on this 19 story office building in 1960
  • This steel and masonry building with a facade of limestone and granite, occupies one city block. It includes mechanical spaces, parking and a cafeteria in the sub levels, meeting rooms on the first level, Medical Offices and a research library on the 2nd floor, and office space on the 2ndthrough 19thfloors
  • This building is occupied and operational seven days a week
  • Has its own zip code
  • Has a chapel


Tenant Work Policy

  • Tenants accept space as-is
  • Tenants are responsible for building out their space, in accordance with their lease agreement with the policies of The Interchurch Center (TIC)
  • Work in the building must be done with union labor


The Lease

Building Standards are outlined in the lease documents:

  • Design and construction standards include wall construction, ceiling tiles specifications and other finishes
  • Building rules and regulations are also outlined in the lease
  • Rent commences with possession of the space not occupancy (when they sign the lease)


Pre-Construction: Construction Document Review
Documents are reviewed from various angles:

  • Building management reviews for compliance with building standards
  • Building engineer staff reviews for coordination with existing systems, and to avoid possible interruption to other tenants’ services
  • Engineer of record (usually an outside entity) reviews for compliance with state and local codes
  • Tenants must file all work with the proper authorities once landlord has reviewed and approved work


Pre-Construction: Contractor Selection
Contractors are selected by the tenant but must be approved by The Interchurch Center:

  • TIC provides a list of preferred building contractors for reference
  • Tenant must provide references for contractors new to the building
  • Contractor must have performed work similar in scale to the current project


Pre-Construction: Filing

  • All work must be filed with the NYC DOB and other local authorities:
  • A pre-construction inspection must be done to ensure there is no disruption of positive materials(i.e. asbestos) (if present), and proper paperwork must be filed depending on the work required
  • Work cannot be performed until permits are in hand and displayed
  • All forms are signed by the President & Executive Director of TIC



  • The tenant is responsible for the construction financially and from a management perspective (and they require financial statements)
  • Weekly job meetings are held and include the tenant PM, their contractor, the building manager and building engineer
  • During construction building management ensures access to all building systems is maintained
  • During construction building management coordinates with the tenant’s contractor to ensure work disruptive to other tenants (i.e. core drilling) is coordinated and does not interrupt their operations. Demolition is to be scheduled after normal business hours, Monday –Friday or weekends.
  • Staging of all materials must be done within the tenant’s space


During construction building management coordinates with the contractor on items such as:

  • Deliveries
  • Removals
  • Tie-in’s to building systems
  • Bringing systems offline
  • Sprinkler drain downs


All overtime for building personnel is billed to the Tenant. Some work the tenant performs must be done by base building vendors such as:

  • Mechanical controls
  • Fire alarm work
  • Keying of door hardware
  • Voice/Data cabling


Delivery of furniture is coordinated with the building
Installation of internet connection is provided by the in-house building team
Installation of phones is done by in-house building team
Tenant is responsible with setting up computers and other equipment


Completion of Build Out and Move In

  • Any punch list work is managed by the tenant
  • Move in is coordinated with building management for freight availability
  • Weekend move ins are preferred
  • TIC can provide porter services at a cost to the tenant
  • Building management prepares an abstract of tenant’s lease terms for distribution to ownership and The Interchurch center accounting department for billing purposes once lase has been executed by tenant and landlord.


Do you charge the same rate of rent during build out as occupancy? Yes. The lease is the lease. You are incentivizing the tenant to complete their work on time. Some generous landlords provide free rent for a f reasonable period of time.


What about groups that want to do TI through volunteers. ? TIC couldn’t allow this because of insurance complications. That’s a very dangerous area to get into.


Furniture Standards: TIC has base furniture standers for cubicles and similar resources, but the rest is open to interpretation. Colors on the wall and ceiling tiles are standard as well.


When would you bring a broker in?
Depends on the amount of available spaces
10 little suites or one large one
that determines the amount


IS there a standard broker commissions – varies by market . In NYC the rents are high and the brokerage commission is usally a percentage. On the west coast it’s usally a dollar amount per square footage over a period of years.


From an Ask-NCN Discussion, 12/2/15


James Thompson, New Path Foundation
I was wondering if any of you had protocols or policies or just learning experiences in terms of the costs associated with having to pay for the planning of space for new tenants; specifically related to floor plan drawings and the engagement of consultants to do this type of work? Currently we have been underwriting all associated planning costs and were looking around to see if there was examples of cost sharing between facility owners (i.e. Landlords) and new tenants coming in. After a few experiences with tenants requesting redesigns and changes along the way to layouts, we are needing to rethink our current approach of covering all these costs. For example, perhaps a set rate for plans/drawings based on square feet that would be covered initially by the landlord with any subsequent changes or additions being borne by the tenant…just a thought we are mulling over at present.


Debra Bodner, City of Vancouver
Not sure if this will help at all, but we, in Cultural Services at the City of Vancouver, have a grant program specifically aimed at space-related issues. In this program we will fund both planning and capital projects. Among other things, organizations can apply for a grant to plan for new space or plan the re-design of the space, and then apply for capital funds to do renovations. We fund up to 50% of the project costs; the organization may contribute 25% in-kind services; they must raise at minimum the remaining funds.Here is a link to our program guidelines and information. feel free to contact me if you’d like more info or have questions.


Faisal Abid, The NonProfit Center of Boston
I’m the Property Manager at the NonProfit Center of Boston run by Third Sector New England, and have been involved with the management of this property for about 4 and a half years.In my time here, we’ve had some new organizations move in that required a redesign of existing spaces; in addition to this, we’ve had existing tenants who, as part of a lease renewal, have requested redesigns of their space. For the most part we build in the cost for both the design and the actual construction in to their lease term (as in the $/sf/year cost is higher if a redesign is needed), and specify exactly what we are willing to cover in the lease. As an example, we have a tenant here with about 1,800sf who is renewing for a 5 year term, and as part of the extension, requested a redesign of their space. We wrote in to the improvement plan of the new lease that we would cover the cost of two full (space layout, mechanical, etc.) drawings done by a professional architect, and anything beyond that would be the tenant’s responsibility.I also used to work for a property management company, and at a lot of their sites, they would establish a per square foot allowance for new tenants that would cover any drawings and construction, calculated based on the length of the term and the per sf cost the tenant would be paying.I’ve also found it helps to have someone from building management involved from the start of the design process, to manage expectations around what is and isn’t possible within the space.


John Powers, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
At the Alliance Center in Denver, tenants are required to pay for space modifications. The amount may be tempered by the length of lease agreement executed – the long the lease, we, the landlord, may bear some of the costs, whether soft (designs, engineering, etc.) or hard (tangible materials). We don’t use a formula. We assess costs by getting competitive bids. We also reserve the right to approve designs and materials, particularly because the Center is LEED certified and we neither want to jeopardize the certification nor end up with pink Leopard spots for carpeting or wall paint.


Kim McNamer, Deschutes Children’s Foundation
Keep in mind…we are an organization who does not charge rent or a property management fee. We have a use fee for each partner that covers basic CAMs and is figured by their square footage, but it isn’t an actual lease.Typically, when a new partner is moving in and they request a redesign, new paint, new carpet, etc., we work with them to ensure whatever they want done meets our standards, but they are on the hook for paying for/or getting in kind services for all the work. We will help them by getting competitive bids if they don’t have any connections or by putting them in touch with those we have worked with in the past.I have learned over the last few years that this can be a gray area for us, so we typically do things on a case by case basis. An example of when we share costs is in regards to classrooms with preschool kids. There is more wear and tear on those rooms and we typically will pay for half of the cost to replace carpet if needed. We had a request for AC from one of our partners this year. We received got the bids and options, discussed them with them and suggested the one we thought was most cost effective. It was going to impact our administrative offices, so we split the cost with them. For new carpeting in the common areas and conference rooms, we pay. If they want to paint their office because they are bored with the color, they must go through us, request permission to paint, show us the paint color they are wanting, we ask a few questions about who is doing the work and then we remind them to do it right, mask and should anything get ruined, paint spilled on carpet, etc. they are responsible for the repair/replacement costs. One program needed a special AC unit to help keep their vaccine fridge opportunity at appropriate temperatures. This affects their program only. We got the bids, ordered the work that needed to be done and then billed them for entire project.Our rule of thumb has been that we are responsible for all things outside their offices and classrooms and they are responsible for everything inside. Meaning, they are to leave it as they found it, get permission if they want to change it, but then all costs associated with changing it inside their space is their responsibility.


Pam Mauk, Together Center
Our standards are about the same as Kim’s. Over our 25 year history, we have sometimes handled buildouts at critical junctures when we needed to move forward on space, but typically we handle preparing what is in place with new paint always and new carpet if needed and any buildouts are handled by tenants, including architectural work, permits and construction. We need to approve any changes, but have tenants sign that they are responsible for any permits and impacts from their work.We have handled the payment of contractors on occasion, adding the cost of the buildout to the lease for reimbursement over time, or other negotiated payments.


Karen Maciorowski, The CT Nonprofit Center
I direct the CT Nonprofit Center and we partner with a nonprofit real estate development organization who owns and leases the space while we run the shared space/services/resources/collaboration.


We approached this in 2 ways:

1. The below market rate rent was raised $0.50 per sf and the funds were put into a pool of money to be used for planning configurations and for the construction as long as the organization signed a 3 year lease. Due to low financing rates, this was an achievable goal.

2. The State of CT provided us a grant for a collaborative project of which we use funds to plan and implement all data ports and configuration to the shared data closet. Additional funds are used for some build out costs as well.Once round 1 is complete (when our grant runs out April 2016) we will have to either raise additional funds OR charge new tenants as most commercial real estate organizations do. We do not have any inflators on the leases – once a lease is signed, it is the same rate for the period of the lease.


Dustin Barrington, HNS Life Center
We were very fortunate to have the services of an architect donated for our project in exchange for some naming rights. Free wasn’t always cheap, but “in kind” generally worked for us.We have built out about 40k sq ft in the last 18 months. The school of hard knocks has taught us to be clear and consistent throughout the entire communication process with tenants. We started off trying to accommodate everyone’s requests but found that some tenants were willing to spend money as long as it was ours… Reserving generosity for partners that are willing to shoulder their part of the burden seems to produce better results for us.

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