Aaron Kreais, President and head of real estate at Kreais Companies, is here to talk about their new co-working, co working, coworking / flex office management company, Combine Spaces.
The idea for co working really started when we were looking for office space for our own small and growing Kreais team. Making the jump from solo / small team meeting on site or in coffee shops really wasn’t working well anymore and we felt that we weren’t big enough to move into the kind of office space we knew we would enjoy and be productive in. I really wanted to be in an awesome building that gave a great experience but, being a real estate investor and developer, I really wanted to own the building as well. Having to own the building shouldn’t have been a requirement but I got hung up on it. So, our idea was to build the experience we wanted for our team and share it with others. We bought a building that was on the city tear down list, spent way to much money saving it, had friends lined up to share the space, and then finished it right when the pandemic hit. The space was awesome, people thought it was a community center looking through the windows at the pool table and pinball machines out in the open office environment. The only problem was we literally were ready to open when the world stopped. The space was supposed to be a collaborative environment for the Kreais development team and we were going to share the space with architect, an engineer, a realtor, and a few other real estate related professionals. We had to put the plans on hold and really we used the space as a getaway for me to not work from home and somewhere fun to take the family that wasn’t home when everything was closed. After awhile we decided to lease the entire building out to a real estate brokerage and switched back to working from home while our now downsized team re assed how we wanted to proceed. The real estate company that is leasing the space is really using it a lot like we imagined it. They are a pretty widely integrated group and offer a lot of different services. It’s awesome to see the place alive when we drop by or stop in.
Fast forward a little over a year and an opportunity to co-own another office building came up and we said yes to partnering on it. We bought the building because it was in an awesome location and the other partners in the project had already been working in the building and it was close to their homes. It started out with the idea that we were just going to lease it out as a multi tenant or maybe single tenant space. Then I pushed for furnishing it and how do we make it more amenity rich? Everyone was pretty much on board with that sounds great but how? And that’s when Combine Spaces was born. I had the idea that we take what we had learned from owning and managing a portfolio of short and mid term residential properties, mix it with our office / retail leasing experience, and treat office space as an experience that our users / clients could make work on their terms.
People want great experiences and that takes extra work on the backend. Work I love thinking about and designing. We approached the office environment as somewhere you wanted to come to get work done. Something that you were going to look forward to. Amenities that are customizable with individually built tenancy terms. No lease negotiations, expensive build outs, financing, CAM charges, utilities, or other operational burdens and barriers to entry. We took to heart that we are individuals with both dedicated and differing shared needs. Our workspaces are designed to meet those needs.
For us, and are tenants, it really is as simple as your space is already ready. Just decide the place. Add the “you” needs. Checkout. Start using the space immediately. You can use the guest wifi while enjoying a fresh coffee in one of the common areas and move to your new space as soon as you complete the online checkout. Stay for a day or years. You decide. It really is this easy if you need a place for a few hours, a desk for a day or two, or an entire private office.
Our guarantee is that you can be in your space as soon as you finish checkout and if you want you can leave just as fast.
We have space available now at our Clintonville location. Contact us to schedule a tour, book a desk or office, and we can host events and our meeting rooms and conference rooms are available for booking as well. We look forward to seeing you around the space!