September 10, 2011

Ivanhoe Research: Community Center?

Since Taylor and Bethany and I are all working together, we decided to start off by looking in different directions.

To begin with, I continued my research regarding microfinancing from the previous class. Initially, I was stuck on the idea of implementing KIVA to raise money for what ever sort of center we end up trying to add. Personally, I love the idea of an affordable eating place for kids to gather and family to enjoy.
While looking at KIVA, I began to realize that it seemed to mostly offer loans to very VERY poor third world country people. So, against that, I don't know that KIVA was the best choice for Ivanhoe. I found another reputable microfinancing group, Grameen America. This is how they work:

IF we used this, we would have to use a group of people who would be willing to pull out a loan. And of course, whatever they ended up making into a business would have to be a for-profit establishment. If it were non-profit, then they would not be able to pay back the loan. But this is all still very rough.

Another element that I researched was the logistics of turning a home, in a residential area (the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council owns a few) into a business. There are a couple things that would have to happen. First, we would need to contact the city and see if the house was zoned to be a business. If it were not zoned, we could apply for a conditional use permit. This is just an opinion, but I think that considering the location and the purpose of this community center, I think we might be able to argue the conditional use permit if it's not zoned for it!

Possible uses for the center:
  • cafe
  • smoothie/juice bar
  • computer lab
  • occasional market
  • pop-up
  • daycare center?
  • tutoring
  • rec center
  • restaurant
 More research to come!,9171,1950949,00.html

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