Finding suitable buildings

Not too far gone.

No point in even trying for buildings that will require a lot of money to bring up to usable standard. The best candidates are run down but structurally sound – they can be fixed up with a small amount of money and a working bee. Somewhere that a small amount of effort will make a big difference not somewhere you can spend a lot effort getting nowhere.

Who owns it?

Suitable sites can be either privately or publicly owned. In our experience it is actually easier to work with private property owners but government sites are also potential candidates if governments are willing and able to make them available on appropriately flexible terms.

Who to talk to?

In order to secure a property, the biggest single factor is the ability to communicate directly with property owners or someone empowered to make a decision on their behalf. Each project needs to involve a genuine dialogue between the owner and those who would seek to activate or use the building. You may have some luck targeting real estate agents but supportive owners are they key — real estate agents are often unwilling or unable to assist with this as it falls outside their normal operations and responsibilities.

It’s the best opportunity not the best building

While it is certainly desirable to target high profile sites or iconic buildings, it is often easier to target a group of buildings or an area rather than putting all your energy into activating a specific one. This offers more flexibility and options should a property owner not be interested. It also offers the chance to create small scale examples rather than diving straight into complicated and potentially expensive sites.  Ultimately though choice is determined via availability of suitable sites and in some regional centres or geographic areas choices of sites may be severely limited.