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Spacemarket

Pairing disused spaces with useful people

Spacemarket

Pairing disused spaces with useful people

Spacemarket was built to help creative strangers take vacant cities over. We're a team of architects who have taken over dozens of buildings, negotiated cheap and flexible leases, then handed them over to artists, performers, makers and creatives. We discovered a problem, we were the only ones who had the bargaining power to take on the lease. Using Spacemarket, building owners will be able to list their spaces for free and creative individuals will form groups to occupy it. The groups fill up automatically until everyone is ready to apply and with every new member the space gets cheaper. Once they've been accepted, they are ready to move in.

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I love this idea for two reasons, 1 there are a lot of empty spaces that are going to waste and 2, there's not enough support for the artists of this world. I'd love to start a small filming studio where I live for YouTubers and indie filmmakers but there's no way I could finance it alone.

Downside is, what happens if people back out after they agree. Do the others get stuck for his portion of the rent. And I feel like insurance is going to come into it and be a problem.
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@Cynthialil Awesome comment and question Cynthia. Agree so strongly on the first two points you made. We don't just want artists to take over space for the first time in the building lifespan, we also want to secure the space for art for a long time! Our view on the problem you described, is that the same system that automatically groups the artists, also comes back into play if someone drops out. It's important to have rent stability when you're starting out. The app will create a virtual waitlist of people who want to join a space, and when you have an opening, the app will be ready to assist you by automatically inviting someone into the group to fill the spot. We may develop a way to screen this process, but right now it will at least get someone into the group quickly and keep the building owner in the loop on what's going on in real-time. Can't wait to get your feedback once you're using the app!
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If anyone has questions about Spacemarket, let me know!
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This is an interesting mix of a multi-sided market platform and collective renter-ship. Have you considered possible renter needs (user pains/gains) around joint decision-making such as is found in collective worker/owner movements? This is one aspect that seems significantly different from the AirBnB model.
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@mmalrutz wow Margaret, it's an interesting issue isn't it. We're also wary of the lack of hierarchy in a collective setting, if it results in deadlock and indecision, or some control freak taking over everything and making it inequitable and not fun.

In short, we haven't built anything to guard against these pains, with the exception of the ability to kick nuisance members from the group if they're creating problems for everybody else.

Right now, we have teased out one big vital decision, which is whether to commit rent. We've built the system around that firstly. because our priority is to get people into wasted spaces. A lot of later-stage, case by case decisions aren't baked into the app. We didn't want to build the variability of leasing and building owners conditions and terms into the app because it varies too wildly from building to building, if that's the kind of later-stage decision making you're referring to. We want people to list such a wide variety of spaces without having any experience of the commercial real estate industry, so we haven't developed much of a way to standardise the finer details such as insurance and other big decisions. These will have to happen IRL, and we'll monitor things and change the app as needed to support this process. It seems inelegant right now, but we hope that at this point in the agreement, the app will function as a dedicated communication space between the building owner and the group, at the very least.
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@DaveSharp Very interesting opportunities for platform thinking! Good luck and I look forward to seeing this solution develop and evolve!
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Are these workspaces only or could these also be places to live? Also, are you familiar with Breather spaces? How is your concept any different?
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@AWill2Go Hi Alexa interesting question. Spacemarket offers the kind of workspaces that are more than just fit for meetings/hotdesks. We have a long history working with artists, makers and retailers, to find them piecemeal and affordable production spaces within the fabric of the city. We want to continue this, so while it is technically possible to list residential space and ordinary hot-desking/breather type space, it isn't what we've designed to support. We prefer people doing big things in strange spaces. We plan to tighten up the copy on our landing page to make it a little bit clearer. I'm not too familiar with Breather, but at a glance, a big part of what we're doing here that's different is that the spaces are listed by their owners in an ad hoc way, then they fill up with people and disappear. It isn't an index of a city's creative spaces. Additionally, where Breather offers space for teams, our model groups communities of creative strangers (currently up to 30 in a single space) to take on a conventional lease for the space on both short and long term agreements, without having known each other beforehand. Hope that brings a bit more nuance for you :)

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