A Portland Idea

How many commercial real estate spaces are available the Pearl / Downtown area?

Available being another word for ‘bleeding cash’. If you’re the one who owns the space.

Why not do this: Scoop up used office furniture on the cheap. Pay some local kids to install a wifi network. Then lease out spaces to creative types, or daytraders, or anyone doing work that a) requires concentration b) benefits from the buzz created when others are engaged in similar tasks c) doesn’t involve a lot of conversation.

Model it after a hair salon. Seats for rent. Maybe a receptionist, maybe not. Community fridge, a table or two, but otherwise a minimum of provided niceties. Unless someone wants to bring in a dart board, or whatever. Get your liability in order. Then let them go nuts.

Maybe nobody gets rich off it. But the space stops bleeding cash. Creative types get a space to work in. Maybe one or more of them trades work for rent – now you have a very low cost graphic artist at your disposal.

The tricky part: Finding a space that’s owned by an individual. It can’t be a group or foundation. Groups are too formulaic, too bureaucratic for this kind of thing. No, it has to be someone who’s just sick to death of seeing a 0 in the revenue column, month after month.

I got this idea from my buddy Jarred, who’s leasing space in a similar arrangement in LA. Someone steal it from me. Please. I’m sick of seeing all of these beautiful spaces sitting vacant.


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