We had been looking for office space downtown for 8 months with no luck. There are so many amazing spaces downtown, but they have been vacant for so long that the renovations that needed to be done were too much for ourselves or the property owners that we met with. We wanted a space that was large enough where we could not only work in, but also hold events and meetings for our think-tank groups. It became very apparent walking through dozens of spaces that it was almost as if Dayton was stuck in a time warp. We realized that when we entered the vacant office spaces, we were some of the few that still saw the potential in growing our business downtown.
Then we had our a-ha moment. We thought, who else is trying to fill downtown space and would be willing to help us find our place downtown? Then it hit us – The Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP) and their Activated Spaces initiative. We knew that it would be a long shot considering all of the Pop Up Shops were startup retail businesses, but we submitted our application regardless. Two weeks after our submission we received an email from Jen Cadieux at DDP stating that they were impressed with our application, and they wanted to bring us in for an interview. There were many high fives at Catapult that day.
Meeting day came, and Josh and I went down to the Century Bar beforehand to calm our nerves and talk strategy for the meeting. We’re not used to being the ones being interviewed, nor being nervous about a meeting, but this one decided what the next steps of Catapult were going to be, and where we would spend the next couple years.
We eagerly walked into our appointment and were greeted by a table surrounded by young professionals. Because Activated Spaces has primarily worked with retail shops in the past, we explained that we were conscious of the fact that we were not retail, nor fit the profile of their typical applicant. Yet, what we brought to the table was an established creative business that is expanding. We also wanted to be inside of a retail space to show other service and creative-based businesses that it is okay to bring your business downtown. We offered a partnership between ourselves and them. We would essentially be the flagship for their initiative to fill all of those vacant spaces that we had looked at.
Personally, I don’t think they were expecting us to come in with as much heart as we did.
Several weeks after our interview, we got the green light on our application and were ready to start looking at spaces. Where we have landed is at 133 N. Ludlow Street in the Talbott Tower behind the Schuster Center. Most Pop Up Shops sign 6 month leases, with the option to continue once that is up. We offered to sign a two year lease, as long as we were able to get the space renovated, including a door directly to the sidewalk of Ludlow Street. Most of the renovations we needed were completed before our Urban Nights event ‘Photos and Floats’, where we partnered with DaytonGram, Dayton’s Best, Dayton Baton, and Black Box Weddings to serve up Bourbon Root Beer Floats that people could enjoy in our photo booth. Needless to say, it was awesome.
While our space is going to be undergoing further renovations over the next couple months, we invite you all to come down for the Cash Mob that Activated Spaces will be hosting on June 6th, which also happens to be First Friday. The event will start at our office at 6:00 PM with food and drinks as well as having shirts for our Instagram partners. Then we will all be heading to several of the other Pop Up Shops that have opened recently: Studio Meco, Confetti, Hicks’ Barbershop, and Spice Paradise. After we cash mob these places, we will celebrate and socialize at the Trolley Stop.
For more details email Jen Cadieux: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the details below. Hope to see you all there!
The Activated Spaces team is putting together a Cash Mob for June 6th (First Friday) from 6-8pm. This is similar to a flash mob. We get a group of people together and ask that each person to come prepared to spend at least $20 that evening at our shops. We will spend about 20 minutes at each shop for people to browse, talk with the owners, and make any purchases.