So you want to rent a commercial space in New York City.
Congratulations! Get ready for some challenges.
A conventional approach would start with getting a broker, who would be responsible for finding the right space and negotiating the deal with the landlord.
Last time, we worked with several brokers and nearly made some deals— but in the end, the space we found was through mutual friends.
This time around, we have again worked with brokers to help us get a lay of the land and to try to find a space that works for us. While it’s been an educational experience so far, we haven’t yet found something that’s truly viable.
Along the way, we got a message from our friend Bryan Owens who came across a space on Vandam Street that’s available, in our price range, and the right size and neighborhood (pictured above).
We checked it out today, and it’s great— for all the above reasons, but more than that. The building is small. The owner is an individual (not a large firm) with a background in screenprinting and nonprofits. The space is full of character and culture.
Our current space is a tiny suite in a huge building, and you need a photo ID to get through the door. I’d love for our next space to be in a building the embodies the independent spirit that we embrace.
The trick to all of this? The kinds of spaces we want aren’t likely to show up in the real estate listings. This building is small, has a single owner, and is largely off the grid. We need more of that stuff.
While we’re pursuing a deal in this building, we need other good options like this. I’m pretty confident that if we had a half a dozen viable options like the above, we’d have a real winner in our hands. I know they are out there, but the usual approach is unlikely to unearth them— we have to find them ourselves.
Which is why I’m announcing the NWC 2.0 Space Scavenger Hunt. See my next post for details.