Permanent Collective Space in Leipzig

The aim is to develop a permanent collective space,

enabling people to live together while working on their projects,

in support of the development of a local cooperative based economy.

At present, a 100 000 euro investment is going to provide for a building purchase, in which some people can live rent free while setting up a variety of cooperatives and the grounds for local communities to emerge out of shared values.

On the medium term, this will enable the set up of  legal frameworks to buy a few more buildings,

and enable each person to purchase its own appartment for 1500 euros in cash, and an additionnal 4500 euros credit.

Can this really happen?

Dante, I would agree that there is the need for new paths to shared housing alongside to the traditional nuclear-family oriented 50-100 square meter apartment. Truth be told, I am looking to move into a co-housing space myself (but not in Leipzig!).

I checked the website and am quite impressed by the vision. However, the prices don’t seem realistic! How can you acquire a building for 30K euro and renovate it for 30K more? I did some very modest renovation work in my apartment in Milano four years ago and spent almost 10K. A buuilding that you buy for 30K must be a wreck, and renovation is surely going to be at least ten times that!

The numbers may be unrealistic, but I really encourage you to pursue your vision. It is something we need.

Yes - it is done

Hi Alberto,

yes, it is realistic.

It depends what you define as renovation - in this particular situation,

it are basic renovations. ( not the luxury cuisine and jacuzzi at every floor )

A friend of mine bought a building in the centre for 60 000 euros ( 600 square meters ).

It is a building which is already in a good condition.

He added money to change windows, change pipes, change elctricity, sand the interior woodwork and floors, demolish some interior walls, paint. At this point, he almost finished, with an additional cost of less then 60 000 euros - so a total of 120 000 euros for 600 square meters, that is 200 euros a square meter, in a town with a population of 500 thousand and good urban infrastructures and services.

There are even cheaper buildings, but possibly in a less good state.

You can check it out on this site, as mentionned on the initial sharewiki page : 

You are onto something

Wow, quite impressive! Can you get your friend to post some photos?

Hi Alberto,


Hi Alberto,

regarding pictures,

there is a description of individual building purchases on the lwb site mentioned in a former post,

but you can also find more in detail pictures of buildings for sale from individual owners through mainstream online immo sites.

You can also scroll the streets using google street view.

As for me, I ll start by setting up a legal framwork,

and am building up a priority list of people interested in purchasing an appartment with 3/4 low interest loan.

While keeping one floor ( ground floor and garden ) for common usage, this would be around 2000 to 2500 euros per appartment ( in addition to 6000 to 8000 euro loan ).

On the private Immo sites, you can see buildings in a good condition, with pictures of the interior, for 200 euro - two hundred - a square meter - basically renovated in the inside.

What I aim at, is buildings , not renovated, at 100 ( one hundred ) euros a square meter, with a roof redone in the 1990’ies. Then count another 100 euros per square meter for basic renovation - this can be done progressively.

But the aim is larger - it is to foster a local economy,

and to find even cheaper industrial spaces for artists, for craftsmanship, small scale p2p post-industrial production, but also land for ( urban ) permaculture gardens,

while being only 1 hour away by express train from the centre of Berlin.

Can this really happen?

Dante, I would agree that there is the need for new paths to shared housing alongside to the traditional nuclear-family oriented 50-100 square meter apartment. Truth be told, I am looking to move into a co-housing space myself (but not in Leipzig!).

I checked the website and am quite impressed by the vision. However, the prices don’t seem realistic! How can you acquire a building for 30K euro and renovate it for 30K more? I did some very modest renovation work in my apartment in Milano four years ago and spent almost 10K. A buuilding that you buy for 30K must be a wreck, and renovation is surely going to be at least ten times that!

The numbers may be unrealistic, but I really encourage you to pursue your vision. It is something we need.

can we have a conversation?

hey Dante,

I’ve read through the Leipzig project wiki and that’s really though provoking and forward looking. I’m a student of architecture and one of my aspirations is to live in a communal-centric way.

The back of the napkin financial estimates might be very inaccurate in the long run: if you do a very low-profile renovation you’ll end up with very high utility and maintenance expenses. Who will finance and pay the bill in the 10 years horizon? I’m not talking about Jacuzzi but windows and insulations materials.

What do you think? Are you trying to articulates and breakdown the operating costs? These are just my 2 cents I’m young and not very experienced. I just wanna help : )

I would love to have a in-voice conversation with you to share my little experience and especially ask many questions!  If you’re up for a skype call or a chat my email is: higiacomo at 

We are interested too!

I would add that we at Edgeryders are very interested in the topic. If you have this conversation we volunteer to hosti it on the site and push it out through our social media channels.

Update - Legal Frameworks and Financing

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dante-Gabryell Monson <>
Date: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 1:10 PM
Subject: Re:
To: tim.r

Hi Tim,

I feel enthusiastic when reading your message.
I am certainly interested in the potential to build on your experience,
including what concerns legal frameworks.
I wish to inform some friends, including in cc Leander ( who is currently in Leipzig, and co-organizes the Fairventure event ) , 
and in bcc Anthony.
Leipzig sounds like a good opportunity to meet up and discuss such frameworks more in detail.
Regarding the legal framework, as a first step for me is the housing aspect,
I was considering the "Mietshauser syndikat" approach ( ) ,
which indeed combines all three : Verein, Genossenschaft , and Gmbh.
( yet there are more models I will consider , possibly trying out several models for different buildings : )
Regarding the development of post-industrial manufacturing, this is a chapter in which people involved in the german chapter of open source ecology are more engaged in
I try to see if there is way in joining potentials regarding a wider span of infrastructure investment.
Rewig sounds like an interesting model to do so.
For the moment, I have been mostly into researching opportunities in Leipzig,
and now try to focus on buying a first building.
I do not have money of my own, so I depend on investors.
I prefer a model with no centralized ownership.
For the moment, I have a list of friends interested in putting forward a few thousand euros to buy their flat. If a partnership can be made with Mietshauser syndikat, by setting up our  own legal framework first, 3/4 of the money can come via credit guaranteed by Mietshausersyndikat, which reduces the requirement for cash, per flat, to 2500 euros.
I also found an investor willing to make available 100 000 euros to buy an entire building in Leipzig, at the condition that he remains the sole investor,
while enabling us to live there without payment of rent for a few years.  
I imagine this as a first step to converge friends to live and Leipzig and further the broader project.
I am thinking about a building which is already in a good livable condition, such as this one,00-
Speak to you soon / see you soon,
On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 11:03 AM, Tim Reeves <> wrote:

Dear Dante,

great to hear from you, I hope things are going well for you!

Also great to hear about the ecological ideas which you and your friends are trying to advance.

One of the many facets of the concept of regional economic communities is to provide a legal and communal framework for just such ideas!

My experience is that while it is “fairly easy” to have such ideas, it’s not so easy to implement them - so much to do with law and finances, contracts and obligations. The ReWiG München for example is a cooperative based on the above linked concept - and we’re currently about one year behind where we originally wanted to be, despite now having about 100 members, about 20 of which are more or less really active. But the good news is, we’re glad to support other initiatives with the know-how and official papers which we have accumulated on the way, so that others can have things go easier and quicker.

Please note that the concept is intended to be very flexible and all neccessary modifications for a local situation are welcome. If the local solution is still (within a large tolerance) close enough to the concept to be called a ReWiG, then the ReWiG München, which has patented the word ReWiG, will gladly concent to people using it. This in turn will qualify the initiative to participate in the “Rat der ReWiGs” Verband, where continuing exchange of experience and mutual support will be available.

As an example of flexibilty I mention the second ReWiG: ReWiG Schlehdorf eG. They are not yet planning to invest in local businesses nor to start a local currency - rather they are taking over an existing ecological farm which also offers nature experience for young people. But they have their hearts in the right place and they have founded a cooperative, and we’re glad to support them and grant the right to the name ReWiG. In a similar way I could well imagine a ReWiG in Leipzig initially dedicated to getting the projects you’re looking at instantiated, and at the same time being part of a movement could help (a) getting started, and (b) to expand horizons and take up further possible aspects of a ReWiG in due time (e.g. an own local currency and marketplace, or cooperation with local authorities).

Verein: I’d be a little bit careful if Verein is really the right vehicle. In Germany a Verein is traditionally a group a people furthering a pastime, sport or charity of some sort, or preserving local tradition and such things. Many of them are tax-exempt due to meeting the neccessary criteria for exemption. Normally a Verein is not associated with doing business. There IS however a type of legal body similar in quite a few ways to a Verein butintended for doing business, and that’s the Cooperative (Genossenschaft). There are constructs whereby a Verein is used as a tax-exempt body to aid donations, and uses a Plc (GmbH) or such as its business-arm (which can then make a profit), or others involving a foundation (for endowments), but personally I find these somewhat cumbersome - as though people are effectively trying to get around legal restrictions.

Leipzig: We’ll be at the fairventure Congress in Leipzig on 7. - 8. June this year, so that would be an opportunity to meet and discuss face to face.

Mit herzlichen Grüßen,

Tim Reeves

Flurstraße 10, D-85221 Dachau

Tel. 08131 - 273 653   Fax 08131 - 273 654

Email: tim.reeves - at -

Skype: timothy.reeves (mit Webcam)

Sonst im Web:

Am 01.04.2012 14:01, schrieb Dante-Gabryell Monson:

parallel note ( sorry, in english - feel free to reply in german ) :

I wish to express my personal interest in the VAWT development process.
( but also in potentially parallel research, such as , including for VAWT structures )
Personally, I look forward to contribute, once I manage to set myself up in Berlin or Leipzig. ( am currently in Brussels )
A few , potentially converging points :
Regarding The construction place, and the legal platform , I may see some convergences I hope to be able to exploit together :
I am attempting to further the Leipzig Housing Cooperative project , and potentially also abandoned factory space for post-industrial manufacturing ? 
I wish to set up a legal platform ( a "Verein" ) in Germany.
Who is willing to set up a Verein together in Germany ?
Did anyone set one up yet ?
Another option I consider, is the set up of a International Verein, in Belgium :
as to facilitate the convergence of money invested in such kind of projects.
( starting with the purchase of a first building in Leipzig )
I also wish to investigate the interest or feasibility of setting up a not for profit investment scheme, with as outcome local infrastructure for resilient local economics.
One inspiration , midst others, may be to adapt/tweak/collaborate with the following model

2012/4/1 Nikolay 
okay Alex, wann hättest Du heute Zeit für ein Skype-Gespräch über die VAWT-Entwicklung, ich hätte paar Fragen dazu.


2012/3/31 Alex 
Okay hört sich gut an. habe in dem sync pad ein paar ergänzungen gemacht. falls du in berlin bei ihm bist am 6.April, ruf einfach bei mir an falls er irgendwelche technischen Fragen hat!

Ich bin vom 16.4 an auch in Berlin.

2012/3/31 Nikolay 
Habe gerade mit Rene aus Berlin geredet. Er arbeitet an Open Source Regionale Entwicklung.

er kann uns mit den Wind Turbinen, Struktur und Finanzielle Entwicklung helfen und vielleicht andere Ideen geben. Ich werde mich mit ihm am 6. April in Berlin treffen.

Für die Wind Turbinen müssen wir paar Fragen klären soweit wir können (ich kläre manche davon auch mit ihm):

Genehmigung? - Rene: es muss einen Offiziell anerkannt Know-How-Träger geben.



Output: - Eigenverbrauch/Einspeisen in das Netz Output - Kosten - Break Evene Analysen Renalbilitätsanalysen Aufteilung strategischen und operativen


Zeitplan für die Umsetzung

Ort für den Aufbau von Versuchsanlagen

Risikomatrix erstellen



Thanks for sharing this mission.

Next step - setting up a not for profit

in reply to Noemi, copy pasted from an email


I really like the Leipzig project - I could quite easily imagine myself collaborating within the community that is being described. I would be happy to support in some fashion, depending on circumstances and requirements - either remotely or possibly coming and lending a hand for a while when a property has been secured.

Keep us posted of progress :slight_smile:

Hi Darren -. its already possible

Hi Darren, if you want, its already possible to do stuff in Leipzig.

A friend of mine bought a whole house, and he is in a similar kind of understanding / vision.

For the moment, some of the floors evolved in some kind of “nomad base”, with people coming over, living there and organizing “voku’s” ( popular meals ) at the building.

There is also interest from Pavlik ( whom you may have met at the conference ? ) to find out with this friend if there is some space that can be used to set up a hacker lab.

My friend is also interested in finding out solutions for land ( to lease and/or use unused land ? )

for growing some food and try to become more autonomous.

If you are interesting in giving it a try, let me know.  Its not yet the “big vision”, but it can be a starting point.

I ve also been in touch with some of the people from opensource ecology germany. I did not manage to go to one of their meetings in Berlin.  There seemed to be some interest in Leipzig from them too.  Lets see…

Let me know by email if you want me to put you in touch - or perhaps easiest is to get in touch with Pavlik , as Pavlik already has a pretty good understanding of Leipzig, and has the same contacts.


Thanks for that Dante,

Another place to add to the list then - I’ve never visited Germany and have friends in Berlin, so a trip there would be good :slight_smile:

I’ve got a fair few things to sort out in England.  I’m going down to the camp next month near to the Portugese border in Spain.  Will have to come back to England after that and have been planning a group trip to Wales to visit some friends, a few small forestry co-ops also the people I know at .  Maybe sometime later in the year I can make it to Germany.

Did I get it right?

Hey Dante, how can we help? What do you need specifically - the answer to this is generally money, but still?

In my understanding you need a core group willing to put in 15 000 euros, and a few of you will be in charge with borrowing the rest of the money? i’ve read some stuff on and it seems that’s mostly connected with the gift economy…  is that something you’re going for too when you say you’ll just invite people there? not asking if it’s sustainable, obviously you’re on to something and have posted great links, so I’m reading about peer production and technologies…

What about the people who, precisely because they are very mobile. would be willing to go for a pay-as-you-go system, would that work for them/ us? If I were to live a couple months in Leipzig, I’d go for something like that, and it may work, like co-working spaces usually do with free lancers.

stay well, friend!

What I need : to bring some existing pieces of solution together

Hi Noemi,

Thanks for your interest.

I managed to develop some of the solutions,

including ( verbal engagements for ) money to buy a first building ( equal to 10 times one thousand five hundred euros - each corresponding to the purchase of the personal property shares of one appartment ),

and an understanding of paths regarding legal frameworks I wish to explore.

The issue I face, is that the different solutions still need to be put together,

and either I can ( technically ) not do it on my own - for example, setting up a legal framework requires the engagement of several people -,

or either I do not want to be alone ( no point for me to be going to Leipzig on my own ).


Regarding the money, I found people wanting to invest, but they usually do not have time, and do not live nearby.

Furthermore, I prefer to set up a not for profit first, and a bank account related to such not for profit, to enable people to transfer the money on this account. After this, further procedures for a loan can be set up.

Regarding presence of people living there, I found interested people, often without money.

So the idea, if the legal frameworks and processes to purchase a building are enabled, is to create a synergy : have people without money living in the empty places bought by people willing to put a few thousand euros.

Yet ideally, I need at least a few core engaged people for each house project, and the combination of house projects enabling a larger local economy project.

And more importantly, although I have been to Leipzig several times to explore, I will need to spend more time in Leipzig to choose which building to buy.  I have till now focused my attention on one neighborhood, comparing it with other options.


I need to get closer to Leipzig - either live in Leipzig itself, or in Berlin, to work on such preparatory phases.  There is the possibility to live in the house ( in renovation ) of a friend of mine in Leipzig, but having lived a precarious life for many years while being on the road, I would prefer having more autonomy, and rent a more comfortable place in leipzig as headquarters for further project development.  I actually thought of starting by renting a place in Berlin, as I feel there are more networks of people I can connect with in Berlin to build up project development potential.  I will explain this further …


By focusing on Leipzig instead of, lets say, some nice resort along the beach, I wanted not only provide access to good infrastructure and to nearby social networks in Berlin,

but also provide access to affordable and economically scalable approaches ( without getting into severe debt ) , so that each can become owner of its own flat.

I want to enable “personal property” ( as compared to private property ), with a house cooperative being the owner, and individuals owning shares related to their own usership. Shares they can resell without speculation to the cooperative if they wish to dis-engage.


I am also in touch with people in Leipzig, interested in such approach, and I wish to converge people from Berlin to support such approach :

I have the hinch that , as Berlin becomes more expensive, and some people wish to have access to a living space while staying connected to their existing social networks and/or urban social environments - yet build something new without requiring to work full time to pay back some debt - , that Leipzig can be ideal for people sharing a specific set of memes, and that people with such memes in Berlin may, due to proximity, have a less big threshold for feeling interested , involved, engaged, and organize with each other.


For the moment, I am based in Brussels, and hence the easiest for me is to start from where I am.

I am limited as I survive with social support, which enables me to pay my rent ( a single room / flat ),and do not have any extra money for travels, unless I hitch hike ( but having done this for several years, I prefer not ending up in a no-choice other then living in the in between mode.

So what I wish, is to use my presence in Brussels to set up a international not for profit under belgian law, and use this international not for profit to free myself from social government money.

I do not necessarily need a salary, but I wish to cover my living and project related costs.


Hence, as strategy, I first imagine the set up of a international not for profit based in Brussels.

This requires the engagement of several people, willing to set up such platform for a moral person with limited liability.

I want to use this legal framework to apply for project funds, which in turn can finance a temporary collective, which itself can converge people ( and cover their costs ) while setting up a larger project, such as the leipzig housing project.

So it has different “steps”…

Setting up a “Verein” / a german not for profit, is one of the steps useful in purchasing a first building in Leipzig.  This first building can then further support the next steps…


I would need to spend more time in Berlin to set up such kind of Verein ( and/or find people willing to set it up ).

I hope to be able to use Brussels, to create a bridge with Berlin, and use Berlin to create a bridge with Leipzig.

I found friends from Brussels willing to spend some time in Berlin, and willing to pay for renting a place there, but none ready to guarantee for rent / taking the contract.

There is no point for me going to Berlin to search for solutions there unless I find someone willing to take responsability for the contract, or unless I myself can guarantee myself some form of income, or unless we have a structure to guarantee for covering expenses.

So its somewhat of a catch 22 I wish to find a way to find a solution… 

Related Project : Unmonastery

Sounds like a place for FreeLab

Dante, what is the current status? Is it possible to start something in your friend’s building - just  to get the base locally? We can set up FreeLab there in no time at all. :slight_smile:

You can talk to Pavlik ( elf pavlik )

He has a profile here on the Edgeryders platform too.

He stayed over at the house in Leipzig at some point,

and has the latest updates.

Sublab in Leipzig

You can also look into ( in Leipzig )