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Coworking in Columbus Just Got Bigger

So, it’s been a big month. If you haven’t heard the news already, we’ve officially signed a lease at a new, larger space! It’s going to be quite a month. Let me fill you in on some of the details.

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The Space

Our new location is about a half a mile north of our current location, at 2997 Indianola Avenue. You might recall our original plan was to make a move like this in the Spring, but when you see the space you’ll understand why we decided to jump early. The space is perfect; 1500 square feet—compared to our current 450 square feet—and 1000 of that is one big room. It’s perfect for setting up a variety of workstations for all different types of workers. We’re planning on keeping the collaborative group tables, as well as the dedicated Full Time Member desks, but we will also be able to bring back some individual desks for part-timers as well as a standing desk for those who like to work on their feet. Personally, I also like the idea of a few cafe style tables where two people can sit to work together. The possibilities with this space are huge.

Almost as importantly, the extra space is going to enable to us to host more involved events. If you have a meetup you would like to host, we hope you’ll take advantage of the space to do it. We’re even exploring the possibility of hosting gallery showings.

As for the other 500 square feet, it’s in a separated area in the back and is set up perfectly for conference space and a larger kitchen. There’s also some room for inventory storage for members who have that need, including some extra room in a smallish basement. Street parking is readily available, and we also have a little bit of private parking behind our space.

The neighborhood is another great reason for this move; Our current space is in a bit of an island without any other retails shops around, whereas the new location is in a great strip of existing shops. Neighbors on our block include Clintonville Pizza Primo, Yeah Me Too Coffee Shop, Alison Rose, Elizabeth’s Records, and Clintonville landmark Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse. As if that weren’t enough, we’re immediatley next door to Savor Growl growler fill and convenience store. Pizza, coffee, clothing, music, movies, and beer: What could be better?

Timeline

Although our lease officially begins October 1, the current tenants have told us that they will be out by Sunday. I’d love to be up and running by October 1, so that gives us a two week window to get the place fixed up, get furniture moved, and re-open our doors. Given that all of our members have work to do—that’s why you’re part of a coworking community after all—we’ll have to schedule the work on weekends and after-hours. More on that later.

Commitment to community

This feels like a great time to reemphasize what The Salt Mines is designed to be: Your community. The last thing we want is for our members to feel like they’re just guests in someone else’s space. When you bring in clients, guests and vendors, we want you to feel like you’re bringing them into your space. Whether you’re a Basic member who only pops in a day or two, or a Full-Timer who is in every single day, The Salt Mines belongs to us all.

As a result, everyone should feel a sense of ownership in The Salt Mines. If you’ve liked working here, but haven’t quite found a way to get connected in, this is a great chance. Think of what you want out of coworking that we haven’t been able to do because of space constraints, and let’s make it happen. If you have a passion for art, figure out what would make the large, bare walls look cool. If you know something about audio and think we can do better than our tiny Logitech speaker system, make it happen. This space is only going to be as great as we make it, so let’s make it awesome.

What now?

It’s going to a fast and furious couple of weeks between when we get the keys and when we’re hoping to be up and running, and we can use a lot of help. In addition to the general call-to-action above, we’re suggesting the following:

Tour the new space

Next Tuesday, September 17, we will be doing a very special Member Lunch at the new location. I’d love to get as many members as are available together in the space to talk about how we can best make use of it. I’ve got some ideas, but I want to see what you all think. Let’s meet at the current location at noon and we can all caravan over together. If you can’t make it on the 17th, get in touch with me and we’ll figure out another time to take a look before we start moving furniture in.

Work days

I’d like to propose a few evenings for “work nights” to help us get ready. If you’re available on these days, your help would be greatly appreciated:

  • Tuesday, September 24th: Painting – Instead of our usual Second Shift night, we’ll order up some pizza, grab some growlers from Savor Growl, and throw up a new coat of paint. The more people we have helping, the quicker it should go. I’m thinking of starting around 7, but let me know what works for you guys.
  • Weekend, September 28th and 29th: Moving – By the final weekend, we should have the space ready for furniture, so we’ll spend a couple days hauling desks over and setting the space up. If you have a truck that you can provide, it would be greatly appreciated. We’ll work out the specifics closer to that weekend, but if you’re able to mark your calendar now it would be a big help to get a lot of hands involved.

Prepaid memberships

This move does mean some additional costs, including security deposit and some extra hardware, furniture and fixtures to fill the space out. If you’re interested and able to prepay your membership, having some extra money would be very helpful at this point. As a “thank you” to those who are able to help out, we are offering a free month to anyone who prepays six months in advance, or 50% off one month when you prepay three months. This offer is good for existing and new memberships, so please send me an email if you’re interested or have questions.

Invite a friend to join

There’s never been a better time to join up. I know the space we’ve been working out of has been somewhat limiting, and really wasn’t for some people who were looking for more room, conference space, or other things we’ve been lacking. If you know someone who would enjoy working in our community, this is a great time show off what we have to offer.

This move is something we’ve been working toward for the past year, and I’m excited to see it finally happening. More space means a larger community and more ways we can contribute to the Columbus entrepreneur and startup community. We keep saying that “we all work better when we work together”—and the bigger we are, the better we can be.

See you on Indianola in October!