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Some surprises in 42 Carden overhaul

10C puts a push on community bonds
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The wind is blowing through the glassless window frames, and there is much work to be done inside.

But the complete renovation and rejuvenation of 42 Carden Street, the new home of community group 10 Carden (10C), is progressing at a pace that is relatively within schedule and budget, executive director Julia Grady said Friday morning.

For the curious, and as part of an ongoing community bond promotion, 10C will host walkthroughs of the 15,000 square foot building in the coming days. There was one on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and another next Wednesday evening, beginning at 7 p.m.

10C’s new building, like its current one, aims to offer inclusive and engaging space for social benefit organizations, organizations dedicated to solving a range of local issues.

The renovation of the former Acker’s Furniture Building, with its dual entrances – one on Carden, one on Macdonell Street – and large façade windows, has come with some complications.

Grady said carrying out the work in the downtown, and especially on narrow Carden Street with very little room to maneuver, has been a challenge.

“We are kind of in the last stages of the community bond issue, and it definitely needs a little more traction,” Grady said.

The overall cost of the renovation is roughly $2.5 million, while the entire project is about $4 million. The community bond process launched in the spring, with the goal of raising $1 million. So far, it has raised $689,500, with 52 investors contributing an average of $13,259 each.

Through community bonds, investors essentially loan funds to the organization, receiving interest on their investment. 10C’s “E” and “F” bonds are offered to both individual and institutional investors.

The “E” series pays a three per cent interest rate on a minimum investment of $1,000, while the “F” series, more for organizations and institutions, pays four per cent on a minimum investment of $50,000. Danby Products Ltd. of Guelph was the first of the corporate bond investors.

“We have had lots of new interest from people who are outside of 10 Carden networks, which is great,” Grady said.

Grady said there have been a few surprises along the way in the construction process, and the budget is somewhat higher than anticipated.

“One of the surprises was just how complicated it is to work in the downtown on that site, with no land beside it,” she said.

She added that the building is almost entirely resting on bedrock, which was unexpected. And evidence of a 1956 fire were uncovered during the renovation. There was no clear documentation of the fire. She said there were no major construction issues accruing from the historic fire damage.

The building is close to being fully booked with occupants, with one office remaining to be leased. And there are lots of opportunities for open concept space, Grady said.  

In October, 10 Carden was awarded a one-year Ontario Trillium Foundation SEED grant to help mentor other not-for-profit organizations through similar shared space community collaborations. The program will launch next April. 

Operating as an incorporated not-for-profit, 10C is a community hub that offers local not-for-profit groups, socially-focused businesses and individuals affordable and accessible space. The model includes shared office, meeting, gathering, and event space.

For more information about 10C’s services, visit www.10carden.ca.