After just one year, The Salt Mines has moved from their Arcadia Avenue location to a larger space at 2997 Indianola Ave. Expansion was always in the plans, but when owner Andy Soell found the new space, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make the move early.
Three-times the space means room for more desks, as well as lounge areas and a conference room. With the expansion, The Salt Mines has kept their device lab, as well as varied membership plans.
Soell recently told us more about the new space how The Salt Mines can be a welcoming community for entrepreneurs.
Q: What influenced your decision to expand to a larger space after one year?
A: When we first opened last November, the plan was to grow our membership over a 15-month period and move to a larger space in the Spring of 2014. We were right on that trajectory when we came across this space on Indianola Avenue that just looked perfect. It was exactly what we had in mind and what we were hoping to move into next year, so we started investigating our options. We put the call out to our current members to see who all was on board with an early move and the feedback was pretty unanimous. Within a few weeks of exploring the idea, we had several new member signups as well as several existing members upgrading and offering to prepay to help facilitate the move.
Q: How large is the new space?
A: Our new location is 1,500 square feet—about three-times larger than our first space. One of the things that attracted us to the space was that it’s laid out almost ideally for our needs. There’s a 1,000 square foot area up front that is wide open and perfect for a workspace—desks, meeting tables, couches, and lots of places where people can get work done, either individually or with small teams. The back 500 square feet is a separate, walled-off area that we’re using as a combined conference space and kitchen area, as well as a place to house our mobile device testing lab.
Q: What is the capacity of the new space? How many desks are available?
A: Each full-time member gets a dedicated desk that is reserved exclusively for them, and we have space for six members at that level. Additionally, we have shared space—desks, larger tables, couches and chairs—for 14 more members at our part-time level or below. We’re also working on installing a standing desk that can accommodate three people at a time. That’s all in addition to the conference space, which can comfortably seat eight people.
Q: What are the current rates?
A: Full-time members pay $200/month for a dedicated desk, 24/7 access to the space, wifi and coffee. Members who don’t need a place to work every day can choose from our three-day per week, part-time membership for $100/month (which also includes 24/7 access), five days a month weekly membership is $50/month, or one day per month basic membership is $12/month.
Q: What additional amenities are available?
A: All members have access to all shared areas of the workspace including drop-in desks, lounge areas and the upcoming standing desk. Membership includes unlimited French-pressed coffee, teas, and use of the shared kitchen. Additionally, we make the conference room available to all members on an as-needed basis to meet with clients and vendors. Most importantly, however, we provide a community for independent professionals to tap into. Oftentimes, running your own business can be a very lonely, isolating thing and we don’t think it has to be that way. Professionals who join The Salt Mines aren’t just signing up for affordable office space, they’re signing up for a community.
Q: What types of clients do you typically see? Who would be a good fit for a coworking space?
A: Coworking has historically lent itself heavily toward tech-based businesses, and we’re no exception. Nearly half of our members are involved one way or another in web or application development, followed closely by professional writers. Really though, I can’t think of very many businesses that aren’t a good fit for at least some level of coworking. Even if your work involves lots of phone calls or on-site visits, every business owner can benefit from working alongside other professionals occasionally.
Q: How can a coworking space help a small business or entrepreneur?
A: Running your own business can be a very lonely endeavor. Hugh MacLeod said, “The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness.” We don’t think it has to be that way. We’re building a community of people who are intentional and passionate about the kind of work they do, and who want to work along side other equally intentional professionals. Joining a coworking space gives you that access to community.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: We’re really excited about this move and all the opportunities it’s going to give us to contribute to creative professionals in Columbus. We already have one incredible resource in The Salt Mines Device Lab that we make available to Central Ohio designers and developers to test their web and native apps on a variety of smartphones and tablets. One of the things we’re planning to offer in addition to the device lab is a professional recording space specifically set up for podcasting. We will be investigating that in the coming months, so keep an eye out for that in the early part of 2014.
For more information, visit saltmines.us.