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Lynnwood facility offers a home away for home businesses

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By Juergen Kneifel
Published:
Jon Brunsdon and David Summers own Custom Solutions Carpet Care in Lynnwood. They've been in business since August 2006 and started out as a home-based business.
But as is the case for many folks who work from home, the lines became blurred between work and private life. That's when this duo decided to make their move.
Brunsdon describes it like this: "Do you want to live with your business? I knew there would come a time, as the business grew, where we would need to look for an alternate business location, so that when you're home, you're home!"
Summers added, "There were times when employees would swing by the house at 6 a.m. -- sometimes at other odd hours -- to pick up supplies or machinery. There was very little privacy and always a sense that there could be interruptions at any given time."
After several years in business, they weren't ready for a retail-type storefront, but they did want a place that was central to their service area, providing a safe and secure business location to serve as a base. In January 2009, they came across their ideal solution: Creative Workspace in Lynnwood, next to Dunn Lumber.
Creative Workspace caters to small businesses and hobbyists. There are a maximum potential of 178 business offices by design, however there is flexibility of combining adjacent units as businesses grow and need to expand their footprint. The size for individual suites ranges from 310 to 420 square feet. The four-story facility off 168th and Highway 99 leases spaces on a monthly basis starting at $290.
Lisa Benedict, manager of the Lynnwood facility since its opening in 2005, said the owners of the facility are sensitive to establishing a sense of community among the tenants.
"The owners bring everyone together three times a year for a catered lunch/business mixer," she said. "It fosters a camaraderie and encourages a sense of belonging."
The facility is monitored with security and there is constant activity. Street-level businesses include an insurance office, chiropractic clinic, law office and a photography studio. The three upper floors also are rented.
"Some tenants even relocate their craft or hobby workshops to Creative Workspace to find a refuge," Benedict said.
Several of the units are plumbed and could facilitate what some may refer to as an artist's loft. Although the majority of tenants are small businesses, Benedict said that the facility is able to accommodate those who are in need of space that offers running water with drainage.
Other features of this facility include plenty of parking spaces for tenants and for customers, wiring for Internet, convenient location on Highway 99 and easy access to I-5. All of the utilities (minus the Internet hookup) are covered in the rent. This includes use of building restrooms, a conference room, a break room and the grounds, all of which are professionally maintained and cleaned.
"When you factor in the convenience of running a small business through an office that has a physical address, it adds credibility to the enterprise," Benedict said. "Most of the occupants at Creative Workspace share a similar challenge: They've outgrown their home office can support, yet still are operating at a smaller scale than what a larger building or space may afford. And we are also in a position to expand (combining units) as a business' need for space grows."
After Custom Solutions Carpet Care moved into a ground-floor unit in Lynnwood, they started to experience the benefits of splitting work and home life.
"The top benefit for me was the opportunity to regain my personal space," Brundson said.
Summers added that there was also great flexibility built into the lease, which runs month to month. "We've had projects that require additional workspace, and the management here has been very helpful and accommodating," Summers said.
Both said that they're thrilled with the location and amenities.
Is your home-based business ready for a move? Perhaps you're working remotely for a company and find too many distractions when you're at the house. It might be worth considering a location like Creative Workspace.

Juergen Kneifel is a senior associate faculty member in the Everett Community College business program. Please send your comments to entrepreneurship@everettcc.edu.
Story tags » Small business

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