It’s a good day. We leased another office space. This is the same building I set up shop in a few days ago to have some peace and quiet for my writing.
It’s disheartening to fix up a neglected building and then to only be able to lease the spaces that have an outside entrance. We’ve waited months for new tenants for the inside spaces, and we’re signing two this week!
When we first considered purchasing the building, I remember being met by weeds, debris, and cigarette butts outside, and dark, narrow hallways inside. Only a few of the light bulbs were good, and the fixtures had yellowed. The white paint on the walls had turned greyish-brown from time and neglect. Doors and mouldings were dark brown, dragging the mood of the place down even more. On the first floor, a long, narrow hallway led to the back of the building where it took a right down another small, dark, and narrow coridor and three more offices.
All of the leases had expired; everyone was paying month-to-month rent, if they were paying at all. A tatoo shop had moved out upstairs, leaving thousands of staples in the walls and a door that looked like someone had put a fist through it; we had never seen the massage therapist who hadn’t paid rent on one of the units for several months; previous tenants had abandoned old office furniture and equipment to save the $11 landfill fee.
Over the next couple of years, we invested thousands of dollars into the building to give it a new personality. The front was stuccoed and attractive arches were added. The entrance was remodeled. The downstairs hallway was widened; the spooky hallway in the back was eliminated, creating a large suite of offices with an attractive double-door entrance; doors and mouldings were painted light colors; light fixtures were replaced; pictures were hung; rest rooms were added.
The building is now light, clean, and attractive. We kept one good tenant, and replaced others. We were picky, feeling that some prospective tenants don’t belong in our building.
After the remodel, we became impatient waiting to fill the spaces. I guess we believed the statement from the movie “Field of Dreams:” “Build it and they will come.” We were proud of what we had accomplished, and thought we’d see the results sooner. No one told us how long it would take for “them to come.” Patience is such a hard thing to learn.