Alabama Market/Theater

 

Proposal:

Possibilities for the Use of the Alabama Street Building

Size and set-up of the building make it the ideal location for a market place. A market would benefit the community in a number of ways: It would attract people from other parts of the town to the area and draw new customers to the surrounding businesses. The community would benefit from the social aspects of a place for exchange, in a friendly shopping-environment with whatever goods participants put out for sale, from hand-made crafts to thrift furniture or clothes.

Markets remove the corporate element in retail. In a store like a supermarket we enter and make our purchases in a rather deprived and sterile shopping environment. At a market there is a diverse mix of people and personal interaction. Vendors are easily approachable and may be specialists for the products they sell. There will be social interaction between the vendor and customer. There is ample parking space across the street from the building, and variably the market could be extended to the outside and take the shape of a farmers’ market during the summer months

The figures below are an estimate of how the building could be used, on the basis of the market as the main source of income.

Hypothetically the market could be held from June to November, on the first weekend of each month and twice in December to accommodate the Holiday season. The size of the building would allow approximately fifty sale stands or stalls.50 stalls at $20/stall: $1000 (maximum capacity)

25 stalls at $20/stall: $500 (minimum capacity)

June-December: 8 markets.

Total money generated per year:
$8000 maximum
$4000 minimum

THEATER SPACE
The building could also be used as a site for independent or community based theater productions. There would be a high seating capacity, and lots of space for storing props, as well as rehearsal. If the productions would take place in the summer, there would be no extra heating costs.

There could be 36 performances a year (six every month from April – September with the exception of the first week of each month, which is reserved for the market) at $10/ticket and approximately 60 people attending each show: Profit per year: $21,600
This sum could be used for rent and restoration, actors could be paid some money, and it would cover the cost of the productions.


OTHER USES
Community members have expressed an interest in using the space for private events, such as weddings, art shows (art students are frequently looking for venues for their exhibitions), community meetings and workshops (such as craft, dance, or theater workshops and performances.)

The events could take place in the last three weeks of each month.
Lease could be at $500/week.
8 programs a year: $4000.

In a careful estimate, the market with additional general leasing could generate $8.000 – $12.000 per year. This amount allows for monthly rent payments of approximately $700/months, and leaves at good outturn profits that could be used for building restoration or reimburses the organization or individuals in charge.

WORK TO BE DONE
In order for the building to be safe and accessible for the public, several improvements would have to be made:
-To make the building wheelchair-accessible a ramp could be built at one of the front entrances (possibly at the larger front door / former loading ramp)
-The restrooms on the second floor should be restored or a wheelchair accessible restroom could be built on the ground level, to close off the second floor for traffic.
-Heating could be an issue in the winter months, but as the figures show the building doesn’t necessarily have to be occupied during the winter to cover the costs.
-The wall-paint has to be tested for lead; a new coating might be necessary. The legal issues include:
-Zoning for commercial use.
-Fire regulations.
-Patronage and financial accountability of the project.
-Hygiene regulations


For further information on markets visit http://www.openair.org