Friday, June 24, 2011

Cleveland's Large Factory Buildings Have Dynamic Collaborative Potential

To many it sounds dumb-but I wanted to see Cleveland cause it had a lot of large underused or empty factory buildings. Freshwater gives a good idea of the kind of creative ecosystems that can emerge just by throwing lots of diverse people and small businesses in one space where they can easily interact.

it takes a village: a redevelopment story for the ages

It starts with the sad story of another Cleveland business, which packed up and left for the suburbs (likely for a huge scale single floor factory) leaving one million square feet of empty space on Cleveland's east side.

Since that time, however, Tyler has been reborn as a thriving entrepreneurial district -- a bona fide urban village on the fringes of downtown. Each day 420 employees and 350 students come to learn and work at this village's two schools and 50-odd businesses. Toss in a coffee shop, peaceful green spaces, and a truly collaborative spirit and you've got one of the most unique redevelopment projects going.

So far they have been shocked by the demand as people seek them out-looking for just that kind of flexible, yet communal environment.

"Despite the fact that it is located 40 blocks east of Public Square, and comprised of little more than bricks, steel, concrete and glass, Tyler feels like its own little neighborhood. Employees grab their morning coffee from Pulley's Café, which is located in donated space and staffed by employees from another tenant, Solutions at Work. When one company at long last secured a recycling Dumpster from the city, he chose to locate it not at his loading dock but in a common area. New tenants make a point of buying their office furniture not online, but at APG, the on-site showroom."

Cleveland has several other similar buildings I know of--all of which are seeing solid demand.

The Tower Press Building
78th Street Studios

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