Join the Flock.
Become an Owner of Commongrounds.
Ownership! The Basics.
Who Can Join?
You who have lived in Traverse City all your life and witnessed its ups and downs, ebb and flow. You who have moved here recently and still pinch yourself that this is the place you now call home. You who travel here and feel that pull in your heart when you leave - and when you return.
Commongrounds is built for you, owned by you, and welcomes you.
When Can I Become An Owner?
Why, right now! Just click “join” at the top of the page. We completed our early bird ownership campaign on December 1 with 366 early birds (flock, yeah). But you can still become an owner - you just missed your chance for a free ticket/priority entrance to the Community Capital party on February 21.
Why Become An Owner?
Be an owner of a vibrant building on 8th street. When you’are an owner, you not only get to own a building; you get to improve the quality of life for you and your community. Work, live, play — and make yourself at home in a place where everyone knows your name.
Help make the place we love to live even better. Create space for families to live, be cared for, and contribute to the community where they work. Walk or bike to a riverside cafe for delicious, local refreshments. Take in a concert in a thriving arts venue (after an owners-only reception, natch). Celebrate, and honor, the Boardman River.
Exclusive owner-only benefits. TBD with your input, once the building is built. Shared kayaks, electric scooters, and cars? Dance parties? Tea parties? You tell us.
Want to nerd out on more details? Cool. That's why there is a FAQ below.
Just want to see the membership terms?
FAQ: About the Cooperative
What is a real estate cooperative?
Commongrounds Cooperative is a real estate development cooperative that offers everyone in our region the opportunity to participate in the ownership of building projects for the mutual benefit of our community and the building tenant-owners. In general, cooperatives are corporations that are owned by their “patrons”: people who use or purchase their facilities, services, or products. Cooperatives are owned by the people who use them and operate at cost. That means any cooperative “profit” is either reinvested in the property for the benefit of the cooperative community or returned to the tenant owners.
What does it mean to be an “owner” of the cooperative?
You own a “community owner” share of the cooperative. With your neighbors, you are helping to make 416 Eighth possible. Learn more about your rights/duties as an owner at our first annual membership meeting, coming up this winter. But a few things are: You’ll be invited to annual open book meetings where you can learn about and shared feedback on the financials of the cooperative. You’ll vote with other community owners to elect two seats to the board of directors.
who manages the cooperative?
Like other corporations, the Board retains most of the power to run the organization and make decisions, subject to authority it delegates to staff with oversight. The Commongrounds board will consist of tenant representatives (a majority of the board), representatives from community owners, and a river representative. Certain big picture decisions also require approval by the tenant- or community owners. At the first annual member meeting, members will officially adopt bylaws and vote for community owner representatives. Prior to the annual meeting, the cooperative is managed by an interim board. Current tenant board members are Chris Treter of Higher Grounds and Kate Redman of Commonplace. Our community representative is Richard Anderson.
What does it take to be an owner of the cooperative?
You pay $50 to buy a share and sign an annual membership agreement. That’s it! Every year you’ll be asked to renew a membership agreement and, once we build the building, there will be annual membership fees to access certain building amenities and benefits, which you can decide whether or not you want to pay on annual basis.
Do I earn a profit because I own a share?
Nope. There maybe future opportunities to invest in the cooperative and earn a return, but there is no economic return just because you are an owner. You may get some of the money back that you spend at the cooperative once we build the building: because we’re a cooperative, if we earn a profit on your use of the services and facilities provided by the cooperative, you’ll have a right to a return of a portion of that profit in proportion to your use. (Sounds confusing, we know. But we’ll help make it clear at our regular open book meetings!). And if you want more information in the meantime, here is a primer from our friends at the Sustainable Economies Law Center.
Do I have to invest the building if I join as an "owner"?
Nope. Only if we launch a funding campaign and you decide it makes sense for you. All investors must be owners; all owners do not need to be investors.
What happens next if I join?
We’ll keep you updated on the project and events. And, when we hold our annual membership meeting, we’ll ask you come join and sign your *official* share agreement, elect board members, and approve bylaws.