When PS:One expanded in 2017, we negotiated a five-year lease with an option to renew for another five years.
At the time, the building was owned by the Khouri brothers, Tony and Dan. Recently the brothers divided their ownership. Tony moved his business closer to his home, and Dan took sole ownership of the building.
A few days ago, the brothers let us know that Dan would like to sell the building and is making preparations to do so. Any new owner would be obligated to honor the lease, including the renewal clause. Even in the event of a sale, PS:One retains the right to stay in its current location for up to eight more years.
Or possibly longer. Another option that has been long discussed is PS:One buying the building ourselves. Alternatively, a trust could by the building on our behalf. Similar arrangements have been made by the Milwaukee makerspace and others.
A third option is to remain a tenant under new owners. And, of course, a final possibility is to move to a new location. Moving is logistically complicated, but it also offers an opportunity to consider the long-term needs of a growing membership.
No changes are imminent, but we do need to begin the hard work of educating ourselves and laying the groundwork for an eventual decision. Likely steps include:
- Understanding our legal rights as tenants
- Talking to lenders about the financing options available to us
- Establishing a capital fund
- Setting fundraising goals and soliciting donors
- Appraising the building and surveying the local real estate market
But the most important next step is tapping the expertise and seeking the input of our membership base. We plan to hold an ongoing series of conversations, both in-person and online, to ensure that members have full insight into the process as it unfolds. As always, we will be reliant on dedicated volunteers to ensure that PS:One continues to fulfill its mission and thrive.