LP Monday Message: Libertarian Party HQ must move

LP Monday Message:

Dear Libertarian Party supporter,

I’d like your help.

The lease on our national Libertarian Party headquarters is up at the end of February 2012.

The landlord has indicated they’ll be raising the rates 10% to almost $140K per year.

The building (the infamous Watergate Building) is only 60% leased as it is, so we think they’re trying to get everyone to leave.

Speculation is that the owners want to sell an empty building, ready to occupy, to George Washington University, which is right across the street from our office.

Also, building maintenance has begun to slip and we’re overrun with mice and rats!

Time to move!

So, rather than jump into another expensive long-term lease, former LNC Chair Geoff Neale suggested last year that we create a Building Fund to buy a building or office condo/townhouse outright.

And the LNC late last year authorized the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee, chaired by Geoff Neale, to do just that.

In honor of our Party’s co-founder, we named the committee the David F. Nolan Memorial Building Fund. And we’ll be offering naming rights to individual offices, e.g. the Harry Browne Library, etc.

Just within the leadership of the LNC, we have pledges of almost $50,000 and through some limited phone calling by Geoff Neale and myself, we’ve raised another $50,000 in pledges.

Our goal is to raise about $125-200K for the down payment and moving expenses. And medium term, our goal is to pay off the building in about 5 years. Imagine never having to pay a rent or a lease payment for office space ever again. That will free up more funds to pursue ballot access, candidate recruitment, media communications, membership growth, etc., etc., etc.

We’ve identified a prime office condo in a nice building, with free parking, access to the DC Metro, and a good layout and the right size for our needs. We’ll continue to review other sites as they come on the market, but in the meantime, we need to get busy raising the funds for this project.

As I noted above, we need to vacate the Watergate office by the end of February 2012.

We’ve done a detailed analysis of the financial aspects of this project and determined that buying a building is dramatically less expensive than leasing our current space. And still less expensive than other leasing options we’ve found that are suitable for our needs and safety of our staff.

We can eliminate the uncertainty of a lease by purchasing a building; will lease payments go up or down and in what time frame? If we lock in a 3-5 year lease now and rents go down, we’ll be overpaying. If rates go up, we’ll have to pay higher lease rates at the end of our lease and without any retained equity. Buying a building gives us certainty in the short term and long term we get the prospect of never having to make a lease or rent payment ever again and substantial equity. And at a cost less then we’re paying for our current lease. Win, win, win!

We don’t see this as just another donation — we see it as an investment. $10,000 given for the purchase of a building will still be there in five years, in the form of equity. Finally, who knows what the market value of a building will be in five years — and that value could have grown measurably. This really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Please let me know if you can help us achieve this historic goal.

We’re in this fight for freedom over the long haul. We can establish ourselves in the DC Metro area and send a message to the R’s and D’s that we’re here to stay, just like the Cato Institute did when they bought their building.

What I would like from you is a donation toward this goal. And I would encourage you to think about the legacy you can have in the battle for freedom with a substantial investment towards our goal of freedom in our lifetimes.

Any amount up to $30,800 (Federal Elections Commission legal limit) can be donated this year and an equal or slightly increased amount may be donated after December 31, 2011.

If you think we should create a permanent beachhead in the DC Metro Area, please send me an email note with your pledge. And, if you want to go ahead and send the Libertarian Party a check or donate online, please note that your donation to this Building Fund project can only be used to buy a building and for associated moving expenses.

By law, it cannot be used for anything else. Online, you can donate here or if sending a check, please note "building fund" in its comment field.

To review the highlights of this project, we get:

  • the stability a permanent office offers over having to renegotiate a lease every few years.
  • the ability this gives us to attract qualified staff, with an office convenient to reach, with available parking, in a good and safe neighborhood.
  • the improved financial condition of the LNC, that currently gives it the ability to qualify for a mortgage, something it could have never done in the past, and may not be able to do in a future rough spot.
  • the ability to leverage an individual’s contribution, with savings compounded each year.

With your support, we will make this happen. You can make a one-time donation online. If you would like to make a monthly pledge toward the Building Fund, please call LP Headquarters at 1-800-ELECT-US.

Please let me hear from you soon via email.

Yours in liberty,

Mark Hinkle, LNC Chair

P.S. my wife and I have already pledged $1,000 toward this project.
P.P.S. Doug Craig, LNC member, has already pledged $1,000 toward this project.
P.P.P.S. Geoff Neale and his wife have already pledged $5,000.
P.P.P.P.S. Current LNC Treasurer, Bill Redpath has pledged $5,000.
P.P.P.P.P.S. and Past LNC Chair Jim Lark has pledged $25,000!!!


23 thoughts on “LP Monday Message: Libertarian Party HQ must move

  1. Cherry-Picking and Spinning

    I don’t doubt the specific facts cited (e.g., the landlord’s new terms).

    But I also know the LNC wants to buy a building regardless. So I’m assuming they’re cherry-picking their factoids.

    They’re releasing and spinning factoids that makes purchasing a building sound good.

    They’re making no effort to find or release info that making another lease sound good (e.g., did the LNC make a GOOD FAITH attempt to find lease space in another building, perhaps in a cheaper neighborhood or city? — or did they only make a half-hearted attempt to seek other leases, intentionally seeking bad/expensive leases to contrast with their purchase plans?)


    Maybe someone could list the pros and cons of owning vs. leasing? Back in late 1980’s as Marc Montoni could attest there was an effort to buy something. I wonder how much equity there would be now vs. rent spent at Watergate had that effort been successful?

  3. LibertarianGirl

    they are holding the David Nolan memorial bbcue to raise funds for the new building , cept 1 thing—DAVID WAS AGAINST THE SPENDING OF SO MUCH MONEY ONA NEW BUILDING!!!!!

    Ill be there tho , anyone else??

  4. George Phillies

    Investigate how much office you could buy in your area for $800,000 — that’s dropping the price $100,000 to cover relocating the staff.

    Is it less than 3,000 square feet, with parking?

    That’s what the LNC is looking at. Is this a sane way to spend your money? Your mileage may vary.

  5. Nicholas Sarwark

    We’ve identified a prime office condo in a nice building, with free parking, access to the DC Metro, and a good layout and the right size for our needs. We’ll continue to review other sites as they come on the market, but in the meantime, we need to get busy raising the funds for this project.

    They’re trying to raise money with the promise of a building we would own, but the currently identified site is a condo within someone else’s building, aka the ultimate long-term lease.

    I’m not opposed to a building on principle, but this project looks like a bait and switch to me.

  6. Tom Blanton

    The LP could save a lot of dough on real estate taxes and condo fees by going green and purchasing a solar Winnebago.

    They could park the futuristic vehicle/office in Wayne Root’s backyard to save on campground fees. If additional space is required, they could always get a room in a cheap motel with weekly rates.

    The LP might also consider buying a good used trailer in an upscale trailer park. They already have enough in pledges to move forward on that.

  7. George Phillies

    @6 While there are exceptions, in general “condo” is a form of ownership that has all the disadvantages of owned property, all the disadvantages of rental, plus a few unique issues.

    Therefore it is not surprising that the LNC has bought into it.

    Incidentally, the ‘we need to raise” line does not quite appear to match what has been said about the need for fundraising to support buying, in particular not the motion on which I thought the LNC was voting.

  8. Michael H. Wilson

    I’d prefer to see the issues section of the website brought up to date and the membership base tripled. Unfortunately I have been bitchin’ about the website and the issues section for 3 or 4 years without any success. Maybe I should try pissin’ up a rope. Wanna take bets on which I’ll succeed at first?

  9. Viva Las Vegas...NOT!

    “They could park the futuristic vehicle/office in Wayne Root’s backyard to save on campground fees.”

    I’ve seen Wayne’s backyard, what little there is of it. An RV wouldn’t fit back there, even if his covenants allowed for it, and they likely don’t in his gated community.

    And they couldn’t park it in front, either. That yard isn’t much bigger, the cul-de-sac is tiny, and there’s the koi pond in the way.

  10. Practical LP

    For the level of productive effort in national issue awareness (zilch) and federal lobbying (nada) and national press exposure (makes Ron Paul look like the Kardashians), I suggest the LPHQ relocate to a storage shed and a Skyped laptop at the local Starbucks.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp

    People (me among them when I was in the LP) have been pissing and moaning for years that LPHQ needs to get out of the Watergate.

    Many of those same people have been pissing and moaning for years that LPHQ should buy outright instead of renting.

    LPHQ is getting out of the Watergate.

    LPHQ is buying outright instead of renting.

    Quit being sore winners.

  12. Viva Las Vegas...NOT!

    Nope, not bitter at all. Just facts of his real estate.

    As for “Berdoo”, wherever that is, no idea.

    Can’t speak for @14 though, although he/she has a point.

  13. ATBAFT

    $525,000 , 3,400 sq. ft. condo office, Old Lee Plaza, Fairfax, VA. Good deal in Nova or not?

  14. Sane LP member

    What does Wayne Roots home in Henderson, NV have to do with the LP hq in the Watergate in Washington D.C.?
    Obsessive. He has been rather quiet on this entire deal anyway.

  15. George Phillies

    The LNC passed one motion to buy, has a second motion up to rescind this motion, has a third motion up to buy on which Alicia Mattson did a truly superb job of explaining why buying under the new proposal was a bad idea, and then it gets complicated.

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