2010 Location Search

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NOTE-this is the archived 2010 location search


Gangplank will be relocating within the next few months. While this move will mean a lot more space for gangplank, the space HeatSync Labs will occupy at the new gangplank location will either remain the same or become less permanent for our tools and resources. Since the primary objective of our nonprofit organization is to acquire tools we can have available and ready to use 24/7, the presiding Board of Directors feel that any move should represent a step forward, not sideways or backwards. This, along with the amazing growth in our membership and some interesting opportunities, has led to a search for a home for HeatSync Labs.

Picking a long-term home is difficult. On the one hand, there are the set of paying members who are attending meetings. On the other hand there are all those other people who you would love to have come attend meetings, but who may be hindered by the distance. The Board of Directors realizes that surveying current attendees includes a selection bias. Many people currently attending may want to keep the current location because it's convenient. Meanwhile there may be a good number of people who do not currently attend, but would if the location were different.

Decide what the long-term goal should be and try to get a location that fits that. The downside is that, short-term, this may end up being a poor location for people currently attending. The upside is that the group is better positioned for its long-term goals.

If you have comments, concerns, or questions you would like to voice to the Board and the members regarding what you would like to see out of a new location for HeatSync Labs please include it in a subsection under The Voice of the People: Comments and Concerns.

Questions regarding the new location will be answered at the April 29th meeting.

  • If you would like to voice your opinion quietly, please fill out this survey.
  • Otherwise, if you think you know a good location please fill out this survey.


Filing the 501c3 documentation financials really allowed the presiding board to estimate the feasibility of our organization over the next few years. These preparations and figures showed that assuming a conservative price including both utilities and insurance for the Phoenix region, HeatSync Labs would need a bare minimum of 25 members at a $50 per month membership in order to afford a space of approximately $1500 a month. Without at least 25 paying members, it would be impossible for HeatSync Labs to afford a reasonable space.

Moreover, the aforementioned price is a conservative estimate and does not include the additional possibility of leasing and/or taking out loans in order to afford better equipment/tools for our members and future membership growth. Thus far, we have been unsuccessful in securing grants, but we are looking into partnerships to minimize the initial cost until tools are available and membership is secure.


Gangplank 3.0


Originally there was not to be much of any permanent space for us when the move to Gangplank 3.0 occurred. It was this fact which initially started the search for a new space. This has now changed. As of Monday April 26th we have been given an office within the existing Gangplank building and are now looking at the following opportunity:

Cost: Free
Size: ~450
Location: 260 South Arizona Ave, Chandler Az


  • Our own bay door
  • 220 Power
  • Communal facilities (power, meeting rooms, etc.)
  • Free! spend money on tools
  • Maintain connection with Gangplank who have very similar ethos and very lofty goals


  • Located in downtown Chandler so it may not be as central to Tempe/Phoenix as many prefer

House Behind New Gangplank Location


Residential house that was modified to be a spa.

Cost: Negotiations are at $1250 a month currently, but the Board of Directors feel that it may be worth paying $500-$800 per month for it. The owner originally proposed the price of ~$1000 per month as long as HeatSync Labs renovated the building to his specifications, our response was $500 to which he said something could be worked out but hasn't been in contact since.
Size: 900 square feet
Location: 242 S. Wall Street Chandler AZ


  • Lease agreement would be all by ourselves, no sublease
  • Communal facilities (power, meeting rooms, etc.) 20 feet from new Gangplank location
  • Close proximity to Derek and the Gangplank community, established trust


  • Leasing this space would require renovations on our behalf
  • Located in downtown Chandler so it may not be as central to Tempe/Phoenix as many prefer

Other Considerations

Innovations Chandler

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Room in a former Intel Building off the 101 and Chandler, renovated by the City of Chandler to be developed as a small business incubator.

Cost: $1000 utilities inclusive
Size: 576 sq feet
Location: 145 S 79th street Chandler Az
Leasing Options: Month by Month, 1-3 year option


  • Some communal facilities, conference room for 22, several flop rooms, cafe area, corridor lounge areas, etc.
  • Space, water, sewer, electrical, janitorial, use of all common space & the loading dock
  • Free insurance (~$2-4k in value) (still checking up on this)
  • Free scheduled access to David's advanced tools (ie. laser cutter), which will attract more members
  • UA nano-lab at innovations has 2 CNCs, 1 laser cutter and other manufacturing related gear
  • Temporary Option (1-3 years)
  • No down payment
  • Free wi-fi
  • Available to rent within facilities (free to start)
    • Wetlabs, gas, hoods
    • Fume Extraction (acid etch IC's like all those Defcon talks you've seen)
    • Cryogenics Lab (you know like liquid nitrogen!)
    • Bio Lab - Centrifuge, etc.
    • Dark Room


  • Additional charge for Cox Internet
  • No direct Gangplank access. May lose that community connection.

Other Considerations

  • Less in Chandler, but still quite within Chandler
  • More sterile environment, entrepreneurial and business-y vs. the typical artists/ hackerspace model

D.A. Thierren's Downtown Art Building

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Location: 718 N. 4th St
Cost: $525-$590
Size: 625 SF
Description: Large front entrance, double door rear entrance, evap or AC, $525, if you share the bathroom with the building, $590 if you don't.


  • CAM for First Friday, shared electricity, etc.
  • Downtown PHX arts district area
  • Communal facilities-outside area for performance and chilling - inside area for workshops and classrooms


  • Some reports that David is a strong personality
  • Frankly, in some ways, HeatSync Labs is in competition with DA. We are our own incubator with our own model. This could result in either competition or cooperation with the other artists there.

Other Considerations

  • Move in cost is 1st and last month, plus a utility/clean-up/late deposit
  • Month of May for free while you paint, wire, build or whatever. building is as-is, no leaks, and we will make improvements as we go. We'll get cooling in ASAP. New rear double doors will be later, as rent comes in
  • 1M in insurance necessary
  • More of an artsy style hackerspace

Additional Options

Here is a spreadsheet of currently available properties and prices. Feel free to dig through this list for gems http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=t4vwfHQOqXSXc-2GOYcx5Kg&output=html

The Voice of the People: Comments and Concerns

Start Small

A lot of the hackerspace how to's caution to start small and I personally subscribe to that idea. If we could just use someones garage and start compiling tools people could visualize what their member fees get them. 24/7 is also rather ambitious to start with. Many of the existing popular hackerspace aren't 24/7 and they're proven and up and running. An interesting concept I saw was a doorman twitter account which people could follow at any point in the day to see if a keyholder was present and therefore the doors were open.

Go Big

The infrastructure pattern.

Things I would like to see in a leased space include:

  • Public Transport
  • Ventilation
  • Garage Space
  • Kitchen/Cafe Space
  • Lounge Space.

I know others have expressed a 'safe location' as something that is important, but here too some of the hackerspace how-to's recommend explicitly looking for sketchy and therefor cheap neighborhoods. We also want the space to be friendly to all night traffic and all night machine noise.

Public Meeting Discussion

Our current space is an office ~120 sqft. and the corner with lockers and large equipment.

  • Gangplank 3.0

- small "wahoo" from the free aspect - not tied into a lease or forced to stay in the space. - allows us access to people and resources that we won't get else where - security was raised as a concern. we will have things of value -- how do we protect it? - people want things open late. :)

  • House behind Gangplank

- Is it properly zoned? -- was previously used as a salon, should be ok. - David -- not a viable option. Suggests that the money and resources it would take to make it a safe and usable space. Future plans by the owner make it so that in the future (5 yrs) we might be priced out of the area.

  • D.A. Therrian Space

- Strong personality. Alot of promises were made by him and not delivered. As a landlord, an attorney was suggested and everything we need to categorized and cataloged because they might not be around. Everything needs to be in writing in his experience. - Mention of artists being a slightly different "business" idea then the hackerspace. - Lightrail stop at Roosevelt - No A/C - Security concerns with the location as well. - Is there parking? No dedicated parking. - Development of space is promised, but no date in sight.

  • Innovations Chandler

- City promised more than was included on the lease. Things like, no noise, no vibrations, no large equipment going. Not sure what exactly is allowed - still in negotiations to clarify. - Suggested to wait and see what this develops into - Insurance situation unclear, would need more information - Good PR standpoint - City doesnt add markup on anything. Everything is provided at cost. - Many resources available to us. - Plenty of parking - More of a professional and business aspect of HSL

  • Overall Discussion

- There is something about a nice, clean space. Concern with the Phoenix place being a negative first impression. - If we had more bio guys, then Innovations would be awesome. If we were more artists, then Phoenix. More tech guys, Gangplank 3.0 - We've got a good thing going with Gangplank. If we build a good basis and fund going -- we can get more notoriety and get people interested. Gangplank provides a good, clean and updated place to do that. Build the momentum - save the money. - Might lose a good base from moving away from Chandler. Moving down to dwtn Phx would cause us to lose some and possible gain. - Through downtown Chandler and Gangplank we really gain PR and mesh well. People heard about us through them. - Possibility for 24/7 model? hopefully. - Floorplan for Gangplank 3.0 and see where we fit. - "And the price is right" - Keeping things clean and organized: Innovations is a clean facilities. DA Therrian is not something that would require us clean up immediately. Gangplank: questionable? - Phoenix is a new place for us, haven't explored this. By leaving these places out are we isolating these communities? - General consensus is save money on space and buy more tools. - We need to still push forward on 24/7 access, no matter where we end up.

    • Conclusion

Understanding that we don't feel a big push to move away from Gangplank right now. Talk with Derek about expanding the space at 3.0 to include us for free or minimal cost.

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