Potential New Spaces 2013

Here we collect information and impressions of potential spaces we have seen. Note this is not for new space *ideas *, just for reviewing spaces we have visited that would have us.

Was: Belconnen Water Police Station

This is it :)

We will be moving in 'mid January'. No exact date yet.

Ginnenderra House

Older pictures on Google+ here - https://plus.google.com/photos/+BrendaMoon/albums/5938196946197851649

West Belconnen Fire Station - Google Maps


  • Huge garage for workshop (almost size of current space)
  • Good facilities - toilets, showers, kitchen, heating, lighting
  • Large fenced yard
  • Firestation :)


  • Location - has bus service and lots of parking, but a long way out
  • Size - we will be paying for whole facility, so will be charged for all the rooms and the yard. At the moment we only pay for the actual MHV workshop space, toilets etc are shared resources. Building seems to be about 3x current space in floor area. Estimate we would need income of around $25,000 per year to sustain being at this location. Over the last few years our income has been around $12,000 per year from between 15 and 20 paying members. We now have 55 members, but not currently paying as much per member as before.
  • meeting room might be too small for workshops (where kitchen is)

Old shopping centre. Not as central as some of the other options - but has been up for lease for the last 5 years apparently.

The old Chinese Restaurant is for lease. Asking $29,200 for 73m2 - which is about $400 p/m2. With adjecent Chemist (soon available?) would be about what we currently have - space wise - but CTP would be better value. Overall would be about 1/2 of the Print Studio space at CTP.

Lachlan is looking into this. Some talk of us moving in with ANU mechatronics labs when they reshuffle everyone around when the new science buildings are finished. Another possibility is an old building near the museum. Not much happening here. ANU being ANU, even if we can move in, making it happen by October will be near impossible.

Adam has sent the blurb email to Kate Kennedy who is in charge of the Community Facilities section of this directorate.

At the Canberra Technology Park (CTP) in Watson, next to AIE (Academy of Interactive Entertainment). MHV is interested in the Press Studio (woodblock/lithography) space currently occupied by Megalo Print Studio and Gallery. Studio Space is approx. 205m2 - workshop = 81m2, clean space = 82.7m2, remainder in smaller rooms and circulation space. Total Megalo space is approx. 760m2 including central gallery and kitchen.

[insert link to images…]


  • Nice clean working areas
  • Cool neigbours
  • Good location near our current space, great for northside members
  • Good facilities (cafe, plumbing/toilets, decent kitchenette, internets)
  • Allow for focus on membership, co-sharing, projects and fund raising vs fixing up space
  • Oval nearby for flying
    • Yes - beside and behind building
  • Better security
    • May be more attractive to new members


  • Very expensive, we would definitely lose floorspace
    • (Tony) Yes, more expensive, but would we lose floorspace? How much do we have now?
    • (DaleP) If we got rid of all the spare parts/junk area and reduced the amount of stuff left over in the space for long periods of time, we could be more optimal with the space?
  • Neighbours may be sensitive to noise, unlikely but a risk factor
    • MHV is currently mainly out of business hours - so noise may not be a factor
  • Almost the same location
    • we are unlikely to pick up new members
    • (Tony) I disagree, alignment with other tenants, and greater exposure could increase membership.
    • (DaleP) Lots of AIE students and other tech companies about. Could possible even do cross promotion with AIE, and run MHV workshops to help with revenue

ACT govt space, currently part of roads management? Note this space is going to be refitted over the next few months so the following may change.


Address is approximately 6 Lithgow St, Fyshwick ACT 2609

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/devdsp/8721736565/in/set-72157633454084738/

Floor plan is basically open plan. There are cyclone fences between sections. In the first section there is a small office built inside the building. Some changes in floor height between sections.


  • ACTPG, so probably affordable (not sure yet)
  • Heaps of room to expand
  • Possibly more convenient for members who live/work south side
  • Plans to make the area arty, potential cool neighbours
  • Potential access to A HANGAR
  • Close to Fyshwick businesses (allbids, hardware stores)


  • Inconvenient location
  • Poor facilities, in particular toilets (ACTPG has plans to fix, but no details yet)
  • Currently very dirty/industrial, significant work to make it nice (in particular lighting)
  • No current neighbours (apart from boxing gym)
  • Lot of effort required to bring up to standard - could be better focused on membership drive and grants etc.

Unfortunately the building isn't suitable for occupancy (and probably can't be fixed), so isn't an option.

There is an abandoned Police Citizens Youth Club facility on Watson St. in Turner. Would need a lot of love etc. to get back into shape. Probably well outside our price range, but large enough to share with other community groups. Maybe the Govt might be interested in helping an collective of active groups to procure it?

Pretty much exhausted this avenue for now. Talked to the director and manager of the arts policy. They sent me details of a contact within the Community Facility section of the Community Services Directorate. Adam.


Beautiful space - I want this one!!! Built mainly for school visits in the old mint building at Deakin. Some interest in opening for other groups but would not be a permanent home for MHV.

Tony visited 23 May '13, and spoke with a very helpful Garry.

Coworking space next to the Street Theatre on the Marcus Clarke end of ANU. Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wil5oncle7us/sets/72157634334760630/

We visited them again on Thursday 15 August 2013. They have just found out that they are about to be on a rolling month by month lease. This means if we do move things there we could have to move them again within a month. It also means that any improvements we make (if we could get permission to do them) could also be short term. We could use their meeting room when it is not in use, and could probably do soldering and hand tool things there. We would have to leave it packed away and clean each time. It may also be possible to use the unrenovated spaces as is although that depends on getting permission for that from ANU.

It is worth continuing to talk to them and look at whether their next location would be suitable for us, and whether we can help in getting that location.


  • Excellent location, adjacent to ANU, lots of buses, Spar (formerly IGA), restaurants…
  • Cool neighbours - E29 is a coworking space (helping startups to start up) and love the idea of hardware hacking colocated with them
  • Good facilities & accessibility - toilets, ramps, heating and lighting
  • E29 is well liked by the govt and has plenty of contacts - might help with grants etc


  • Poor insulation/isolation - will probably –(need work to)– not be able to use loud or fire-risk tools
  • Building is managed by ANU so has strict rules about modifications. Entry 29 are not allowed to change light bulbs themselves. So it may be difficult to get permission for us to do any fitout work in the unrenovated rooms.
  • Uncertain future - Entry 29 are about to go on to a rolling month by month lease and don't know how long they will be in that location. They are looking for a new location, so this is less of a problem for them because they don't have as much stuff to move.
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  • Last modified: 2014/01/23 17:42
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