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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

For those of you that have been following the saga of Reality Check Games, here's an update.

I found a great location, with plenty of space and an attractive rent. But... it needed a little work, so I worked out a deal with the owners of the property. I would fork over the deposit and 2 months rent at lease-signing to help get the repairs started. They, in turn, would give me a couple of free months (in addition to the months I paid for) once the place was ready.

So we executed a lease, forked over some cash (~ $2700) and waited... and waited... and waited. After a few months, not only is the place not ready, I can barely tell they've started anything. So I talk to them and they tell me that the architect came back with a quote and its going to cost them ~$40,000 to get all the work done and that they won't be able to make that money back based on the lease we signed.

Well, my initial response was TFB. But, the problem is... I really wanted that space and this has dragged on long enough. I dont want to open the shop in November... I want to get it open now. There's a clause in the lease that basically says if they don't have it ready by a certain date I have the OPTION to get all my money back and go home.

Well that's an option I don't plan on executing. So I told them this, and that I was willing to sign a lease extension for 2 years, making it a 5 year lease so they can recoup their investment... but that they need to get moving asap.

Then they tell me, well... the work is going to take 4-6 weeks annnnd it's currently taking almost a month to get permits. (Local Bureacracy and all that.) That basically puts me at November just to get in the space and mid November before I can be open. So much for any Christmas season.

Fortunately, there's this other space in the same building. It's not as big, or as cool (as in... “what a cool space” as opposed to “damn its hot in here”) but it does have higher visibility from the main road, which I think would be a real asset in the early life of my business. So, I told the owners I would take the upstairs space, for a period not to exceed 6 months, which would count towards my overall lease and for a reduced rent compared to what they were asking for it. (Even though its a smaller space, the rent was higher, due to visibility and condition.)

After some haggling, we reached an agreement. They still have to deliver the larger space by a set time or I can break the lease and go. We ended up taking the upstairs spot for “up to a year” although if the basement space is available before then, I can move into it. The rent is higher than I wanted, but lower than they wanted and basically matches that of the other space. The monies I put down on the other space would be applied to this space. Basically both parties walked away feeling good about the deal, which is all we can really ask for.

I'm not crazy about being up there a full year, but the enhanced visibility will be nice and we'll pretty much know by the end of the first year whether or not the business is going to survive. If the owners drag the feet on getting the other space ready, and we're struggling, we just invoke the option and we're out of the lease. It's a good deal.  (Starting in the smaller space also affords us an opportunity for growth... nothing like having a huge space and not enough stuff to fill it right off.)

We do have a temporary page up, while I work on the full website. You can view it here. Yes I know it's ugly and doesn't do anything. It's just filler.

Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006 5:42 AM General Interest | Back to top


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