New Chicago is the Fairfield neighborhood centered around 4th St. between the railroad tracks and Hempstead Ave. We had been approached by one of the property owners in this neighborhood to discuss possible collaboration with the St. Mary's project, so last night we met with three of the property owners to begin that discussion.
In attendance were: Andrew Perry, Channing Congdon, Kyla Utegaard, Emanuel Schachinger and myself representing BBP/St. Mary's, and New Chicago property owners Rob Davidson, Paul Glossop and Victor Tichy.
For me the most important points from the meeting were:
* Open house - There are many people in the neighborhood who are interested to know what's going on at St. Mary's, so we are going to schedule an open house soon.
* Living spaces - The idea of having a hostel was really exciting to the New Chicago folks; while currently we are not planning to do that within the St. Mary's building, we want to look on possibly finding other properties where this could happen, e.g., nearby properties or the Bonnell Building. Also, Paul has a building with an upstairs space that could be renovated into a living space as a collaborative project.
* Home building - There are opportunities to collaborate on alternative building projects. Two tiny homes are being built at one of Paul's properties, Scotland Yard, that may end up at St. Mary's, and we have a number of people within our project interested in pursuing tiny home construction. Rob mentioned the Shelter Institute as a possible model for doing home builder training at St. Mary's.