Over the last few months, we (the EBMC Space Force!) have been happy to share and discuss the promising results of our building search: a single-story property at 1422 Harrison Street, just a few blocks from our current home. Through a series of community workshops and surveys, we heard your excitement about the building’s central location and proximity to 12th Street BART; its ground floor location; the potential to create spaces that meet the needs of our sangha for spacious gatherings, healthy indoor air quality, and child-care; and the feasibility of providing tenant space to a values-aligned non-profit that also supports EBMC’s financial sustainability. We also heard your concerns about the building’s lack of parking, green space, the financial burden of renovation, and the narrow, closed-in shape of the space.
Although every site will have its drawbacks, the fact that this property ultimately did not permit emergency egress through the rear or sides of the building proved to be a non-starter for our community. Our architects provided some wonderful alternative designs to better meet our needs for accessibility and ease of exit, but the physical constraints of the structure proved challenging. Because this is a zero–lot–line property, we could only guarantee exits on the Harrison-Street-facing side of the building. Thus, we could not assure the sangha’s safety in the case of various emergency situations. As a result, we have decided not to move forward with the 1422 Harrison Street property.
We will be working with our realtor to continue our search, and refining our requirements and designs for our new home. We have been so bolstered by the amount of enthusiasm and constructive feedback we’ve received in this process, and encourage your continued participation in our ongoing efforts to find a safe and suitable new building. If you are aware of any potential leads on properties that might meet our needs, we invite you to get in touch with us!
Your small but mighty Space Force!
Kaily Heitz, Ramon Honea, Marian Urquilla, Cassandra Shaylor, Xiaojing Wang, Crystal Johnson