shared live+work spaces
for people going places with purpose

property report · Italy
Pontasso—Molino filed by Jacob, 24th August '20

📌Not sure what this is all about? We're crowdfunding a co-owned coliving space running as a co-operative, and this page details our plans and status for this property…



Attractors

Detractors

Status

📢Given a slightly revised approach and assuming your pledges are now out of date, should you be interested in joining or investing in the co-op for this property you'll need to let me know directly to be included as we proceed. jacob@hub.house or +33652516291

The area — Genova, Italy🇮🇹

  • a fantastic city, albeit described as 'a pearl covered in shit', maybe it's the next Berlin(!?); lots of places to hangout and explore, with a huge medieval quarter; funiculars and lifts to help you traverse its elevations
  • only 1h30 by train from Milan; can be reached overnight via Paris (Thello), Munich, Vienna (Nightjet); or the same day via London, Paris, Munich, Zurich
  • has a well served airport, with year-round daily flights to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich; regularly to Frankfurt, Tirana; plus seasonal to Barcelona, Madrid, Copenhagen, Moscow, Palma, Vienna, …


Click photos for locations/details. I can't stress enough that these are selected, the suburbs are UGLY and depressing, if maybe not as much as England😂; for the sake of comparison the last photo is a stretch of typical road 10 mins walk away on the way to the village during March.

The locality

The property

1050m² on 5 floors • 470m²+ common • 360m² outdoors • 200m²+ undecided
28 desks9 bedrooms • 5 studios • 1 dormitory
typical occupancy around 15 • max 22 (singles) to 35 (twin-sharing/doubles)

first floor — sociable

  • lounge and breakfast-bar 60m² with sofas (or ~30 event seats)
  • roof terrace 200m² (~16 for yoga)
  • 8 pods 40m2 dorm with terrace
  • call room 5m2 looking over the stream and trees

ground — accommodations

  • 1 studio 30m² +ensuite, kitchenette, 2 windows
  • 4 micro studios 15m² +ensuite, kitchenette, window above stream
  • 2 plus 10m² +ensuite, window above stream
  • 3 standard 10m² +ensuite, window onto courtyard
  • 4 basic 10m² with shared bathrooms, various windows
  • ensuites are 3–4m²
  • 3 shower rooms with WCs, 1 bathroom, urinal

lower ground — purposeful

  • kitchen/dining 180m²
  • casual workspace 55m² for 12 desks
  • casual breakout 50m² with 4 desks and sofas
  • coworking terrace 15m²
  • terrace 35m², next to bridge
  • 2 WCs

basement — focussed

  • focus workspace 55m² for 12 desks (or ~30 event seats)
  • library-lounge 50m² with several semi-private armchair nooks

sub-basement — undecided

  • auditorium 100m² up to 40 seats for cinema and talks
  • stream terrace ~25m2
  • main hall 55m² only 2 windows, columns in the centre
  • sauna
  • hall 35m² one window
  • plunge pool and terrace ~40m2 (difficult access)

The same owners also have the adjacent house of 130m2 across two floors, this would make an excellent space for more studios however whether the co-op might undertake this itself is debatable as it's better to add new locations rather than expand a single location.

Rendering

Costs

🎁During startup, basic running costs should be covered so every member visiting to help is welcome and need only contribute to some costs. The rates kick-in only once this phase ends…

Show notes…

Plans

Approach

The property can be undertaken progressively; membership and fitout need not be rushed. Given the low acquisition with only nominal works for basic usability it means just a couple of members can acquire the property. But as I'm likely the only majority shareholder this will have to wait until I sell my current place.

This property is adequate such that I'll consider moving in myself and 'camping' to manage the works (actually given it has fibre, is rather better than the French town I'm in currently!), whether employing labourers (as budgeted) and/or with volunteer help. Then rooms could start being brought up to spec for those of the equally adventurous members willing to participate!

Startup phase members (probably limited to members in the first six months up to 30% of capital) will now gain a 8% discount on fractional shares given that the property will not be fully usable, with use-contributions as a simple cost split. This obviously means costs for those joining later will be slightly higher (~3%).

It is thus advisable that only those of you truly interested in actively participating in the project become members at this early stage, as it'd be good fun whilst only partly functional! During startup phase votes would be by shareholding, not co-operative, this may however be revoked using a vote under co-op principles (prevents being held hostage by yours-truly as a majority shareholder, until there's more members).

👨‍🌾If you're more rurally inclined or this doesn't suit, there's a few of you considering doing an eco-build in Portugal or similar, and if this one doesn't work out you could count me in too—get in touch and I can connect you.

Fitout and function

We would repair and utilise existing surfaces rather than fit new ones, workspaces and basic bedroom floors will be a mix of rugged floorboards and patched up/polished/sealed cement. New flooring (likely seagrass) would be put in place for the pods, lounge, breakouts, bedroom hallways and the ensuite bedrooms. This provides noise reduction and feels homely but would have to be replaced fairly frequently (every 10 years for the common spaces). The kitchen/dining and roof terrace floors would be tiled using cement or plain terracotta tiles (likely seconds).

Expand…

Operations

Expenses include a contribution to volunteer stipends, if the community looks after the property and themselves, these could be reduced. Volunteers would only be allocated a pod unless there's availability, thus has limited appeal for a community manager but it could be subtracted from rental capacity, room capacity could be swapped with pods, or the manager could simply be given a corresponding discount on a room.

Photos and video

To watch the video simply rotate your screen to portrait on mobile, else go to YouTube.

I made two visits whilst on a bikepacking trip (mountain bike touring); first time I descended from the mountain to meet with the agent, whom was a little pressed so I only got a few photos. However I returned a week later and shot some video (albeit first time using portrait mode), without the agent so a bit surreptitious, although I left my bike on the bridge — upon returning someone appeared (perhaps a neighbour tending their vegetable plot!) so I was forced to use my non-existent Italian to exchange some pleasantries about biking in the sun and how nice the shade was… no mentions of breaking and entering.😅

View all photos

Works

Currently use is split between specific habitation and work areas, thus new use zoning must be obtained to extend the existing housing on the first floor to include the ground floor. All other floors will remain classified as workspace, although we'd use some as the 'cafeteria'.

As most of the works only effect non-load bearing partioning, repairs and replacements, this simply involves filing a notification of works commencement (CILA) by a technician who checks the plans meet regulations. Permissions would be required to change some of the windows enlarging some (stream side), blocking a couple, and also creating a couple of new ones.

Windows will be the largest single cost before commencing any area and as they vary in size there's no possible reductions in purchasing. During the startup phase most of the existing windows could simply have their single-glazing repaired.

Facades would be planned for works in around 10 years to spread costs, however repairs along the lane would be undertaken sooner.

Acquisition

  1. structural survey
  2. initial planning confirmation
  3. confirm early members
  4. co-op incorporation
  5. membership contracts
  6. you must let me know if you'd participate; as primary backer it'll be a few months before I sell my place so we likely won't proceed beyond this point until then
  7. purchase contract, deposit and planning submission
  8. deed transfer if approved, else deposit returned

Implementation



If you're interested in participating in this property as an early member, drop a quick message to Jacob directly, as otherwise he won't know to include you. jacob@hub.house or +33652516291

🤝Want to help? Obviously if you join and visit early there'll be plenty of ways to get involved! From disassembling all those beastly machines… to drawing on the walls. A cofounder who can speak Italian and is good at sales might be particularly useful too.



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