Due to the nature of buildings and spaces that are conducive to meanwhile use; the area wide property data we collect; the landlord relationships generated during a typical Meanwhile project; and the strong council ties often created, Meanwhile Space also becomes unusually well-informed about the potential for redeveloping an area in the longer.
In growing a ‘development services’ business thread, we have sought to bring our ability to seek productive solutions to create a range of business models for different scenarios that span timescales and objectives; from long term live/work Meanwhile opportunities to short-term intermediary “landlording”. The common factors of projects and longer term developments include a challenging building or location, investment required for refurbishment, either lease or freehold ownership of the space by Meanwhile Space, and a clear exit plan matched by a strong financial return.
Currently Meanwhile Space is piloting two models. A Joint Venture arrangement in Hastings has created in White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures, generating a reasonable return on our risk, and sharing income receipts until exit; at which point the local development trust has the option to increase its shareholding to 100% in an “affordable” way. We are co-ordinating finance and refurbishment, getting the building productive and stable until the community has the capacity and resource to take it on.
Secondly as a Meanwhile investor and Landlord in New Cross. We have created a partnership arrangement with Goldsmiths University will see us pool funds to create a new mixed development of affordable live and work space as a resource for the university and local community. After a 10 year period of complete leasehold ownership, we will return the property to the university as an improved educational and community resource, having delivered the change, and retained the income in the interim.
The strength of the organisation is taking an under-valued property, deploying our Meanwhile skills to tap into local networks, get a proper understanding of local demand and gaps in services and activities to reveal potential. Our development projects create more stable meanwhile opportunities through freehold purchase and longterm leases that often enables residential rents to subsidise meanwhile workspaces and gives greater control over our role as a positive agent of change.
We are keen to partner with freeholders and institutions of challenging sites and properties which have the potential for a longer term collaboration. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss opportunities with us.