Long Term Plans
The Future of the SDFWA Member Shop
What is Shop 3.0 and Why Do We Need It?
By Pete Sterling, Shop Planning Director
As many of you know, our Member Shop has been a huge success right from the beginning in terms of our financial health, physical & functional expansion, community creation & growth, members positive feedback, and growing membership. This success has created an exciting opportunity for all SDFWA members to reap the benefits of our success, including membership growth which assures continuing financial strength, greater diversity and a younger demographic of the membership with fresh eyes and new energy, and many new educational resources.
But when you think about the future (which is now my job), our success also presents challenges to the Association which need to be addressed now. Our new 3-year lease will lapse on 1 March 2023. We will likely not have the opportunity to renew our lease again.
Therefore, given our growth, and the necessity to find new space, we have started a process we call Shop 3.0. Its purpose is to find the best solution for follow-on space for the shop to meet its on-going and expanding missions. We know that our growth is already starting to place stress on our equipment and members.
Dallas is finding ways to partially address these issues in creative ways. However, we are finding that we must manage growth of membership in the interim 3 years in order to continue to provide the most positive experience possible for all members.
Shop 3.0 presents us with many options to evaluate, all of which take time, money and effort to implement. These include:
- Stay where we are and not expand
- Stay where we are and expand into another bay
- Stay where we are and open a "satellite" location
- Finding a larger space and leasing it
- Occupy some government building on a grant or "Program" arrangement
- Purchase Land and Build our Own Building (includes possible purchase of an existing building and/or land)
The Association faces big challenges in order to continue the success of the Member Shop. We have begun to analyze these options and have not completely ruled out any at this point. I will continue to provide progress reports and schedules to the Association as we move toward the best solution, both financially and logistically. In order to be successful, here are the skills I need on the team now:
- A fund-raising person who is familiar with wealthy donors and foundations in the non-profit world
- An experienced grant writer or former City/County facilities management employee to pursue governmental money and excess property opportunities
- An experienced commercial real estate person to guide us with land/building acquisition
- An experienced commercial general contractor (not residential) who has built commercial buildings (preferably pre-engineered steel) in San Diego or Nearby
This is the first of a series of email and newsletter articles I will write to keep the membership informed about the future plans for shop 3.0. Constructive, thoughtful comments are always welcome and can be addressed to me via email. You will also find more details in the Newsletter article which is coming out mid-March.
If you are truly interested in joining this team, and meet one of the qualification areas above, please contact Pete Sterling by email (and also with a phone number, please) at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your help!