We are still working out the business of finalizing the purchase, we will post an update when its complete!
East Bay Express
NPR Latino USA
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2701 Fruitvale Ave, a mixed-use building with low income residential tenants that is also the home to our beloved project Hasta Muerte Coffee, is being sold to the highest bidder RIGHT NOW, and we have one chance to raise enough money to buy it. We're asking you to donate what you can to help us secure the project's future in this time of skyrocketing rent and gentrification.
Hasta Muerte Coffee is a POC worker-owned cooperative coffee shop, bookstore, and community space in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California. We, the collective, are rooted in liberatory action and solidarity, and believe that safer spaces are possible for our communities. Recently we received media attention for not serving coffee to uniformed police officers, in a policy upholding those values. We held our ground under pressure from politicians, law enforcement, right wing extremists, and the media, with an outpour of support from communities from all over the world who understood the stance we took.
The Collective is working with the Oakland Community Land Trust to buy the building in an alternative ownership structure that combats community deterioration through the acquisition and stewardship of land and affordable housing to permanently benefit low income residents.
The owner of the property knew that the year of labor we put into transforming the building would add to its value and they are making quick moves to capitalize off of our efforts. Luckily, we included in our lease agreement something called "first right of refusal", meaning that if it was sold we would have the right to match that deal and buy the building ourselves. An offer came in so we are exercising that right, with our lawyer, a land trust, and you, the community at our backs.
The money collected here on this YouCaring page is essential to our ability to remain here for the long term without threat of market driven rent hikes and the displacement of our shop and the other tenants.
Is this donation Tax Deductible?
- Yes! This campaign is supported by the Oakland Community Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. A receipt will automatically be sent to you for tax filing in 2018.
What happens if we raise more than our goal?
- We are taking out huge loans, and any excess support will be used to reduce those loans and our monthly payments, making the project more stable for the long term!
What if we are not able to buy the building?
- Donations will be used to financially bolster the cooperative towards its long term viability.
Detailed Synopsis and Reason we are fundraising
2701 Fruitvale Ave in Oakland, CA, is a mixed-use building with two low-income residential units that is also the home to a Hasta Muerte Coffee, collectively owned and operated coffee shop and bookstore. Hasta Muerte is much more than a small business; it is an emerging non-profit and community resource center. We are helping to meet out community’s need for gather space by hosting events like meetings, workshops, fundraisers, and more. This loan would afford would would afford our coffee shop/community center and the current low-income tenants upstairs a stable home in a time of skyrocketing Oakland rents, through acquisition of the building in partnership with Oakland Community Land Trust.
As noted, we have an incredibly short timeframe to buy. Our landlord received an offer for the building, but we negotiated a first right of refusal in our lease and have the option to purchase by matching the offer within weeks. It is imperative to our project that we do everything possible to retain some of the added value that we poured into this building, and evade impending displacement due to market rent increases.
The Hasta Muerte collective and supporters invested $50,000 into the space, paid thousands in city permitting and zoning fees, and donated thousands hours of sweat equity to make the space much of the value that it is today. The current owners of the building, purchased it in 2013 for $390,000. Knowing the owner would decide to sell eventually, and that all this hard work and investment would be needed to realize the vision for the space, we added a first right of refusal to our rental contract when we signed the lease. A short 18 months later, only 4 months after our grand opening, the building went on the market for $1,070,000 and we were devastated. The owners have decided to flip the building now that there is an attractive business and community space in the storefront unit and will profit from the hard work and community efforts that went into making the space over the last year and a half. New ownership will likely double or triple our rent as is common in Oakland commercial spaces and topple our vision of holding space that is committed to more than just a bottom line as a small business. With your help we can secure and continue to develop this sanctuary space for the long term, hast la muerte!
- Don Curtis
- Charlie Victoria
- Annabelle Berrios
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