By Annie Lewis, Office Tenant Representation, and Helen Cauthen, Industrial Tenant Representation
The boundaries of space and use are blurred as we live in an increasingly “coeverything” world. The sharing economy has eliminated market inefficiencies while providing cost savings for consumers and tapping into the demand for increased access. The shorter-term sharing of homes, music and vehicles is bleeding into slightly longer-term sharing of offices, retail space and apartments—representing shifts in consumer habits and varying degrees of disruption.
Disruption caused by the coeverything movement has had varying impact across industries, finally making its way to the industrial sector. Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) have long provided shared services and expertise needed to assist companies with warehousing and distribution needs. New companies, such as FLEXE and STORD, have emerged over the past few years to provide different types of flexibility and cost savings for tenants in the ecommerce fulfillment, retail distribution, inventory and overflow space.
Now, companies like Saltbox in Atlanta are emerging, offering upscale office space not common among industrial buildings paired with small-scale, flexible warehouse facilities. Coeverything has furthered the evolution of mixed-use by providing flexible options for integrating complementary uses at a single site, delivering customizable operations for customers, occupiers and investors.
Launching in December 2019, the 27,000-square-foot facility offers month-to-month memberships, flexibility, and turnkey value propositions without being locked into a long-term lease. Located in one of Atlanta’s few remaining in-town industrial buildings in the desirable Chattahoochee Industrial area, Saltbox provides a range of options, from community memberships to private “warehouse suites,” including access to loading docks, freight equipment, on-demand labor, conference rooms, enterprise security, and even a photography studio – all with the added benefit of working among a community of peers with similar challenges.
“Saltbox is uniquely oriented around the needs of humans who run physical goods businesses,” says Tyler Scriven, Co-Founder and CEO of Saltbox. “It doesn’t feel good as an entrepreneur whose business is dependent upon warehouse space when you see your office peers at innovative co-working spaces and you’re stuck in a self-storage facility.”
Scriven says so far the companies that have joined Saltbox include small e-commerce operators, import/distribution businesses and a wide range of makers, but also larger companies that find the smaller, more flexible footprint of Saltbox attractive for their regional operations. Saltbox offers three core products – private offices, private warehouse suites, and community memberships. Any mix of the three can be used by a company. For most entrepreneurs this is ideal.
“If you’re a one-to five-person company, you don’t necessarily need dedicated office space, but you value having comfortable spaces to work, welcome guests, and hold meetings,” says Scriven.
Additionally, he highlights the opportunity for users of Saltbox to collaborate and form a community is something that doesn’t currently exist in the industrial sector.
“For companies that deal with physical goods, there are not many places to turn for guidance and support to talk about important topics related to their business like navigating customs and tariffs, selecting shipping partners, and sourcing raw materials – all of which is under-addressed in the mainstream technology start-up ecosystem.”
With a few weeks until launch, the company is already planning to expand both in Atlanta and to new markets within the next year. “We’re seeing strong demand to bring Saltbox to markets across the country and are working as quickly as we can to make our presence a reality,” says Scriven.