From Toronto Eesti Maja Board
At last week's AGM the Eesti Maja Board made presentations about the process to get to a new Estonian House. This is a brief update on where things stand.
First, to recap: our building needs repairs to the tune of millions of dollars. Over the last several years we have been consulting the community on wants and needs for a new Eesti Maja by contacting various organizations and leaders. We want to know what everyone thinks so that we can find a solution that satisfies the majority and results in a rejuvenated Eesti Maja that is well loved and well used by our community.
Our challenge now is to find a way to afford the work. The Estonian House does not have several million dollars in the bank account. But we do have a very valuable asset: our parcel of land. With this asset we hope to attract partners who can come up with viable solutions. To that end we have issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) inviting any interested parties to put forward their technical qualifications. From these applicants we will invite qualified partners to engage in a Request for Proposals process (RFP). The output of the RFP will be a set of viable proposals for a new Eesti Maja building, together with proposed uses for the land that would generate the missing capital.
It’s very important to understand we have not made any decisions about whether to move to a new property.
Nothing has been decided yet, and in fact we do not want to move our Eesti Maja if at all possible. This has been a great location for us for years. That said, we are duty-bound to consider all options, and so the RFP/RFQ process is open-ended on this... respondents are free to propose any viable way of using the existing site, or any viable way of moving forward on new land.
Once we have concrete proposals on the table from potential partners we will hold a shareholder vote to ensure everyone has a say and we get the best outcomes for the community. This will be a great step forward; before this process started we didn't have any REAL options to choose from.
This is an exciting process and only the beginning. We’ll need to work hard together to figure out what is best for the community and stakeholders overall.
As things move forward we’ll continue to post updates here in Eesti Elu and on the Esto House website, http://estohouse.com/. And when we do come to a major decision point we look forward to involving everyone in a shareholder vote.
Onwards and upwards!
-- Eesti Maja Board
Toronto Eesti Maja status update (1)