Below are some answers to questions we have been receiving about this audacious plan. If your question isn’t answered here, please post a question below or send it via the comments box on the ‘how can I help?’ page
Everybody involved in this campaign has their own personal reasons for doing so, but the most common reasons seem to be:
1) “Once it is gone, it’s gone!” – There is a deep sense in the community that this building is special. It is part of the soul of Footscray. That could be ruined by inappropriate development. The community also seems to feel a sense of ownership already and do not want the space to be privatised as it would if it were to become apartments
2) For years individuals and community groups in the area have wished for a community hub. Somewhere central and easily accessible by public transport that can be used for community activities and to support community groups. Somewhere run by the community for the community.
3) It’s an opportunity to set a tone for future development in Footscray. By doing something inspiring, we may attract developers who have more than the bottom line in mind in the same way that the High Line project in New York has.
We also see this as an opportunity to inspire, engage and empower our local community. We hope thatwhatever the outcome, that the community is more connected and people within it are inspired to make a difference where they can.
What happens if I pledge money but you don’t raise enough or end up going ahead?
That’s the beauty of crowd funding. Your money only gets processed if we meet our funding target. We have also talked to Pozible (the crowd funding platform) about holding off processing any money until after the auction. So you will only end up putting in money if the campaign is successful and we go ahead and buy the building. If we don’t raise enough money or we decide the project isn’t viable, you won’t loose a cent!
What would we do with the building if we bought it?
The building will be owned by a not-for-profit association and we would all be members. As members we would be able to vote for a committee of management (made up of members) who would manage the building and be tasked with running a community consultation process to ensure that the community’s wishes are respected when decisions are made about the building.
The committee would ultimately be making decisions, but would be required to take into account the results of their consultation process and adhere to purposes and guiding principles that we would work out as a community. We intend to honour the current leases but also find ways in which the space could be better accessed by and used for the local community.
If we crowd fund, other bidders will know how much we have to spend and can easily outbid us.
We’ve thought of that! As well as the crowd funding amount, we are collecting some larger private pledges, which for obvious reasons we can’t disclose.
What about the existing cafe/bar?
We don’t want to kick anybody out. We will look for ways to keep the existing tenants, but also make it more of a community asset.