A new co-working space is coming to 219 E. Arcadia Ave. in Clintonville on Nov. 1.
Founded by January and Andy Soell, The Salt Mines will occupy a 400-square-foot space most recently used by the Clintonville Music Academy.
“It’s definitely not going to be Columbus’s largest co-working space, but we’re excited to see what we’re able to do with it,” says Andy.
While working as a freelance web developer in 2005, Andy rented a small office with a couple friends. It was his first “real office” outside his house and, in a sense, it was his first co-working space.
“After an office lunch one day, someone made the comment that it was ‘time to get back to the salt mines,’ and the phrase kind of stuck around,” he says, explaining the new facility’s unusual name.
Right now, The Salt Mines has “four small desks and two larger, double-size workspaces,” he says.
Those who prefer a more relaxed seating arrangement can opt to work in the living room-style lounge. The space also has a standing desk bar.
“The Salt Mines is built for simplicity and affordability, so these smaller desks are a great entry level option,” he says.
Workspaces can be rented on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
The rate for one day is $12; one month is $160. A “floating week” pass, or essentially five day passes that can be used any time, costs $50.
“The space was pretty well set up when we took over, but we did have to put a little effort into transforming the old practice rooms into something a little more appropriate for an office environment,” Andy says. “We have also made a few cosmetic changes to make it feel a bit more modern and open.”
However, the Soells did leave a small stage near the space’s front windows intact in case anyone wants to practice their stand-up routine or acoustic guitar over lunch.
The feature they’re most excited about, though, is The Salt Mines Device Lab, which will be available to tenants and the local design community at large.
“One of the biggest struggles for independent designers and developers can be testing work on a variety of platforms,” Andy contends. “The big agencies can easily invest in every new Internet-connected device that hits the market, but it’s the smaller entrepreneurs that have to bug their friends to test their work to make sure it looks good across all platforms.”
Therefore, the Soells are collecting some of the most commonly used phones, tablets, etc. that designers and developers will be able to use to thoroughly test their work.
For more than 10 years, Andy has worked in a freelance or remote capacity and says the only thing better than working on your own is working with others who are doing the same.
“Sometimes you need to bounce an idea off someone, sometimes you just need a break from work for some mindless chitchat,” he says. “I think co-working gives those of us who are lucky to work on our own the opportunity to tap into that community you miss by not being in a traditional work environment.”
The Salt Mines grand opening party will be held at its workspace on Nov. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is open to the public.
To learn more about The Salt Mines, visit ClintonvilleSaltMines.com.