Searching for a commercial space is very much similar to looking for a
residential to call your home. Certain features are necessary for your
needs and other things you'll learn to deal without. From surrounding
sounds and neighbors to the physical structure and layout, we had to
consider what would best work for us. Oh yes, don't let me forget, to
make our thought equation even more interesting there is also cost /
rent / landlords to consider. Also if you are wondering just who is
"we", I am Brian, Kristy's .5 by law and we are we.
I like to
think I was pretty good at the Gameboy game Tetris and began
seeing this task as just that, fit the various scenarios together.
Although the search for our space began in October of 2011 in a time
where Kristy was facing a most certain layoff (due to the closure of
Golds Gym / Laguna Day Spa) we advanced by thinking "how can we land on
our feet and take advantage of our cloudy opportunity?".
designing at the time allotted me the free time to roam the
frustratingly frustrating pages of Craigslist hunting for new leads.
(Note: If you post property on craigslist please include Price, Size,
Contact info and most importantly PHOTOS!) This is where I found most of
the potential spaces listed. Or after dark we would hop in the car and
scout the town eyeballing any signage displaying the words "For Rent".
In a town where the type of space which fulfills your requests is scarce or even non existent you begin to rely on your vision, not eyesight but foresight. Here is how it mostly played out.
Above | December 30, 2011: We were told by the realtor that this was the original EG Fire House. Yeah, I can see an old fire truck or horse buggy fitting in there. After some thought we realized this space needed too much work to fit our specific layout needs. Hmm, maybe it can be used as a Doll House or something? (Click images for larger view)
Above | January 5, 2012: We felt this house had pretty nice potential and if my memory serves correct it was built in the 1940's. The layout was a bit off and it required too much work for our budget. Add landlords whose terms we couldn't find an agreement with and it was a done no-deal. (Click images for larger view)
Above | January 12, 2012: Now this little old house on the Blvd caught our eye passing after passing. For months as our search continued we'd see this place up for rent but then the next week not up for rent, but then back up again the following month. We decided the next time it hits the rental market we would view this place to see its potential. We were amazed when that front door opened, surprised at the amount of upgrades stuffed into this 900sqft home. After a good walk through and some time to process it all we realized that this place was highly decorated, only it was in a style too far away from our vision. We would be paying premium price for upgrades that we personally would never have selected. We asked about redecorating the space and that was a no-go for the landlord. To each is own. It was a very rich space that spewed both style and texture, just not the ones we would want. On to the next! (Click images for larger view)
Above | January 13, 2012: We did consider commercial shopping centers as long as they had the potential to charm. Our experience showed that retail center commercial space in Elk Grove was 1. Almost always impossible to get a meeting to see the space in question or at the very least get their asking PP/SQFT + triple net, and 2. Always overpriced as if it were still the year 2005. While starting this business we rarely felt that the current was with us. The hunt must continue...