January - MLP

This month, we again spoke with MLP Managing Producer, Rebekah Lengel, ArtPlace asked;

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your efforts? How did you get burned, or how did you prevail?

Hands down the biggest risk we undertook in developing the light Box at Goldman Warehouse was undertaking a capital project without a capital campaign!  However, the circumstances existed that encouraged us to move forward- capital campaign or not.  The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse was built thanks to a challenge grant from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation and a dedicated match by our partners at Goldman Properties.

As we spent many months meeting with various developers and landowners in Miami, prior to establishing a firm relationship with Goldman Properties; we found that space itself wasn’t hard to come by. There were, at the time, an abundance of empty warehouses that we may have been able to move into. However, before Goldman Properties’ involvement, we did not have a true partner who would help us build out a space, and put their own resources, both financial and manpower, into it.

Another huge risk we took in developing The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse was in our business model for renters.  Our original plan was based on finding four anchor tenants who would equally share and pay for the base costs of living in The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, along with other, one off renters, who would help us build a building reserve. Unfortunately, we are still seeking out an elusive forth tenant, and until we are able to secure one, Miami Light Project bears the burden of 50% of the space, instead of our planned 25%.

Our lack of a fourth anchor is not from lack of searching; we found that in our community those who were financially solvent either had spaces of  their own, or had space needs that did not fit into a shared model.   On the bright side- we have been very fortunate at the interest we have received from one off renters- social events, other arts organizations, corporations and trade shows are all eager to use The Light box at Goldman Warehouse, and while these renters do not make up that still needed 25%, it does bring into our space a lot of new faces and people who return to see the artistic work that we present, as well as our other anchor tenants.

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