New Facility Futility
In our September column, we spun the tale of our impending lease deadline and the precarious position we are in to find a new facility. If you’re new to our column, the goal is to leave our rented 19,000-sq.-ft. shop, and purchase a new 30,000-sq.-ft. building. And while I would really love to tell you that everything has worked out and we are well on our way to our new home… alas, such is not the case. Not this month, anyway. I mean, did you actually think it was going to be that easy?
“Easy” has never been a word used to describe our 35-year trek to build a successful business. I’m sure most business owners would agree. Building and maintaining a business is most definitely no easy task. And in our case, it sure has been an adventure.
As explained in our last article, the new owners of our complex have drastically raised everyone’s rent. In response, nearly 30% of their tenants have fled to new grounds. Our current lease was up in August, and because we had no building to move to, we were obligated to sign a new lease, including a massive 61% spike in rent. One nice thing happened: The landlord allowed us to choose the length of the lease. And seeing as we had two potential properties in our crosshairs, we signed a 7-month lease, which carries us to February 29, 2020. Well, technically, it’s a seven-month lease for half the building… the other half is up for grabs by a 30-day notice from our neighbor, who’s busting to expand into our building.
Let’s review. The new lease provides for Media 1’s half until the end of February. But the Wrap This half of the building can be taken from us at any time with a 30-day notice.
Did I just say that twice? Yes. Yes, I did. It’s still hard to fathom, so I have to say these things a couple times to get past the lump in my throat. But we are “safe,” at least for the moment. And the landlord has a 7,500-sq.-ft. space in the back of our complex that we can move the wrap crew to, just in case our neighbor plays that 30-day card. (I can see us now, in the pouring rain, golf cart-shuttling prints half a mile away.) Ugggh… but at least we still have “options,” lol.
MONEY PIT OR DREAM SITE?
But let’s get back to those two properties. I mentioned the first in September’s column, which paints an interesting scenario, so here are the facts:
It’s three miles from our current location, features four separate buildings that total 23,000 sq. ft., and has a concrete slab available to build another 3,600-sq.-ft. structure. This is unique, as it’s kind of chopped up, but it could work for us. After all, we can easily isolate fabrication, paint department, wraps and offices. And the kicker? It boasts 421 ft. of frontage on a major commercial roadway, sitting on a pristine, manicured, five acres of industrial-zoned goodness!
The issues? The buildings were built in 1980 and will need $700,000 worth of upgrades. We’re talking new electric, new asphalt, new ADA restrooms, new lighting, new AC, new pretty damn much everything. (Might as well have been built in 1908!) Whew, that’s a lot of permits. A lot of work. And a ton of money. But a beautiful piece of property, nonetheless. Do we pull the trigger and attempt to juggle business while dealing with a massive renovation budget and a limited time frame? Or do we keep searching?
Meanwhile, another broker shows up with the ideal property: 30,000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned perfection, 4,000-sq.-ft. offices with a mezzanine, air lines dropped throughout, a gigantic parking lot and it’s move-in ready! Did I mention it’s fully air-conditioned? So perfect, in fact, that we toured it on a Wednesday, and had a full-price offer submitted Thursday.
OMG, we are going to get this building! We’re so excited; it’s like it was custom-built for us!
Not so fast, buddy – I told you it’s never easy. We found out on Friday that there were multiple bidders. Found out Monday the current tenants stay till May. Not ideal, but still, we press ahead.
On Tuesday, we lose to the other bidder.
Who happens to be one of our clients.
Who promptly calls us to design a sign for their new building.