Searching for new office space

We’ve spent the last 2-3 months actively looking for new office space. We’ve finally found a new place and signed a lease. I don’t want to move, but we’re forced to due to growth and they’re going to tear our building down in ’08 to put up some condos (too bad!).

A few observations and thoughts:

We decided to get a big place and share it with two other companies. The fact that this actually worked out is amazing.

Sharing office space is a really good idea because you can share resources. It gets tricky at times though because you have to sort little problems multiple times.

The more people you have the bigger your common space can be. In our case, we will have a lobby, a kitchen, share restroom and conference room. On top of that, we have enough leftover space for a pool table (soon to be acquired).

Picking paint colors is tricky. I never want to do it again.

If anything bad happens to the office (flood, fire, etc.) we have to sort it out with 3 insurance companies. I don’t want to be there if that happens.

We probably looked at 15 office spaces.

If you’re like most web design / development shops I know, you tend to put multiple people in a small office. At least two. Well, parking is a nightmare in 90% of the places you will look at. We finally found one that has tons of parking.

I cannot believe how difficult it is to find office spaces that are available. With all of this great technology available to us, why don’t any brokers take video and post it online? It’s easy to decide if a place is even worth looking at with just a short video.

Craigslist is a very good place to search for properties. In the end though, just calling the number on signs in front of properties pays off.

If you’re looking for anything over 500 sq ft, I suggest hiring a real estate expert. We did and it paid off.

Most landlords are willing to negotiate.

A lot of landlords are very cheap.

If you’re looking at office space for multiple decision makers, I suggest taking video everywhere so you can all discuss a property later on.

7 responses to “Searching for new office space”

  1. If i ever sety up a studio again the first thing im gonna do is BUY a property that way when things get rocky you can borrow on the equity! also means you get the run of the place and can do The sharing thing like youve suggested. aside from this have a look at Tomato in London, they operate not for profit with the company having zero staff, instead all designers etc are contracted by the company and pay a subsidy as part of their fee back to the company to cover overheads… great way of keeping things flexible and deffo something im toying with.

  2. Congrats! I’m glad you guys finally found a place that fits. I wonder how much time you invested into this decision. It would be interesting to see what the value of that time would have been in billable hours. On second thought, maybe you don’t want to know! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I hope sharing an office space works out for you, one of my old employers did it once, and by the time we got our own digs there was a lot of bad blood. Though I’m sure it didn’t help that the owner of our company was a raving lunatic ๐Ÿ˜‰ Before things went sour though, it was great to have a lot of objective developers and people around for input on our projects, and help solving problems!

  4. A virtual work crew is the way to go. I’ve worked with a company for over a year now in a different part of the US and I’ve never even met them in person. I have a great working relationship with them and they have no overhead, so I can charge a better rate. A lot of people argue it, with the pros and cons of working face to face, but the truth is if you can assemble a great team, and people can always meet their deadlines, the old traditional office is dead.

  5. I can’t believe they’re going to tear down your old office space for some condos! ๐Ÿ™ The whole appeal of the Arcadia district was the “small town” feel and quaint atmosphere. The same type of urban development is a threat to some of the nicer historic districts near the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

    Anyway, congrats Chris & Tornado Crew on the new place and can’t wait to see what it looks like!

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