Enhancing the fabric of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Since early 2016, our sister company, Sparrow Capital has been investing in experiments to better understand the potential and needs of Edmonton’s entrepreneurial community.
Sparrow’s job is to build great urban spaces. But spaces are only great if they are activated by some kind of meaningful activity, which for us means somewhere on a spectrum between ‘enhances the cultural fabric of neighbourhoods’ and ‘contributes to the resilience and future relevance of the region’. So we are always on the lookout for great people doing good work. And when those people have a need for commercial space, we can generally find a viable way to build it around their work. And of course the more we can facilitate such spaces, the more the shape of the city can be informed by great people.
Sparrow Spaces is designed to serve the members of this cohort who need just a small amount of space or who have dynamic projects that require flexibility. The cowork platform also allows members to plug into a collaborative community of peers and shared resources, which just makes life a bit more interesting.
Edmonton's City-wide Cowork Commmunity.
The Sparrow Spaces platform is comprised of cowork locations in multiple key neighbourhoods in Edmonton, including offices, retail space, workshops, art studios, and commercial kitchens.
Each location offers a range of flexible membership options, including short-term and long-term leases, flex-desks and private offices, meeting rooms and amenities, and a flexible floorplan that allows members to scale their footprint according to the needs of their business.
The cowork platform is also a home for the cultivation of community and collaboration. As the community evolves, we expect to find further opportunities to share resources and build collaborative solutions to shared needs.
The first phase deployment of Sparrow Spaces is designed to achieve several key outcomes:
- To lower the ‘covenant’ threshold for fledgling ventures or dynamic projects to gain access to quality commercial space.
- To provide convenient satellite space for mid-size and large companies to engage with the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in the urban core.
- To cultivate a diverse community of quality operators and facilitate collisions, cross-pollination, and collaboration.
- To establish multiple locations across the city that bring innovation and entrepreneurial leadership to several key neighbourhoods.
- To build a community that can anchor new urban spaces and act as the ‘starter culture’ (like yoghurt or sourdough) to attract other quality operators and curate community within new projects.
As the baseline platform stabilizes, Sparrow Spaces intends to explore options to provide solutions to commonly shared needs identified by members of the community.
For example, such solutions may include bookkeeping services with intelligent forecasting and reporting that can meaningfully inform business strategy; collective procurement of goods and services; access to market distribution channels; access to investment capital; coaching & mentorship; brokering strategic collaboration between stakeholders in the ecosystem; etc. We will need to hear from our members to gather evidence of what is truly needed. And then we can point our problem solving resources at addressing these issues.
As your company matures, you may outgrow your footprint within Sparrow Spaces. When the time comes, our sister company, Sparrow Capital can be available to support your next expansion with some sound advice or by acquiring or building suitable new spaces on your behalf.
We can coach you through the steps for you to buy your own building. We can buy or build a building for you to lease back from us. We can also explore partnerships where we bring the resources to bridge your gaps and then jointly own any commercial assets that result from such collaboration. We are at your service.
The ABCs of Commercial Real Estate
Information asymmetry. The fact that many operators have limited experience with commercial real estate is generally an advantage for landlords in negotiations. At Sparrow, we always aim to start with a level playing field. It may be unintuitive for the industry, but we find that relationships built on trust and fair value make for stronger tenants and communities, and ultimately better performance in our projects.
Ultimately commercial real estate is not that complicated. That is, unless you make it complicated. In twenty minutes, we can teach you everything you need to know about the key principles of investing in commercial real estate. Yes, literally in twenty minutes.
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Interested in a tour? We'll do you one better. Fill in your contact details and we'll be in touch right away to coordinate a free trial membership so you can experience a day on site at a Space of your choice.