A Slum-Lord’s Tour of Available Office Space

Hey Greg, this old entry is sure to bring a smile to your face 🙂  It did me.   Have fun reliving the horror of when Greg and I’s business began to grow, and we needed more office space.

April 08, 2005

One of the worst experiences of my life, during one of the worst times in my life.

This was the early days. I just graduated high school, ambitious, and wanting to see things happen. Some friends of mine and I had been working on a project called NightLife, a video game, and by this time, people were leaving for college and the project had pretty much lost all forms of enthusiasm. We had initially started renting an office in the Pine Center because of NightLife, but by now the office had become the place where Greg and I worked seriously on projects to make money. Suite 309. It was a small office with 4 desks in the size of a mid-size bedroom. There was also another room to the side where we had (I think) a small fridge and a table. There was an entertainment center there, but I don’t believe we had a TV. Things were tight, but it was good times. Some of the best times of my life.  It was sad to see that time end.  By now though, Greg and I had started making more serious money doing various IT work and software development and wanted to move into a larger office. So who do you contact? Bruce Russell, owner of the Pine Center.

Bruce is an interesting guy, definetely someone you don’t forget. Small, big glasses, messed up hair — reminds me of a mole. Just an overall unique look. Anyways, Greg contacts Brunce and says we want to look at some new office spaces he has available. We had no idea what we’d asked. Bruce meets us at the entrance of our beloved suite 309 and we start the show. First stop, a condemned, non-liveable house. It was awful. Awful he’d even ASK us to move into such a place. He didn’t seem to think we were serious and I for one took this as a serious insult. We didn’t even look and very sternly refused. Next stop, the Pine Center BASEMENT! My anger meter is rising to the brim. He takes us into some storage room where he literally keeps all the lawn equipment and some supplies for the Pine Center. There was some grass covered dirty lawn mower, a weed-eater hanging on the wall, oil on the floor, mis-matched floor tiles (some missing), dirty walls, literally hanging bulbs (no fixtures) from the ceiling … This place was about as bad as it gets. “I’ll clean it out and you can rent it for cheap.” — You’d have to pay me to work out of that room. I was pissed. I couldn’t believe this guy. I always hated people acting like I was some little kid, broke and not serious.

So what happened? Did we rent from the guy? We asked him to show us the room on the 1st floor — his best suites. Very nice. Senator Sarah Steelman is next door. He showed us that office — Suite 101, might well be the best suite in the building. Definetely a monstor of an office. He mockingly said some comments and said the price. I don’t even remember what we paid when we were there. But we took it, the best suite in the building. Maybe it was pride, maybe we were just pissed, I don’t know. But that’s how life started in Suite 101 — The Suite we actually exchanged with a real life con artist for a smaller more practical suite upstairs. The Ed Story, the ‘big time’ venture capitalist — president of Kevin Barry holdings. That’s a story to remember. I definetely need to write about that.

2 thoughts on “A Slum-Lord’s Tour of Available Office Space”

  1. “Things were tight, but it was good times. Some of the best times of my life. It was sad to see that time end.”

    Yeah, even though we went though some major B.S. and wasted a ton of money, I still wouldn’t trade the experience for anything else that could’ve possibly happened at that time.

    Just some minor points:

    1. We had a TV back there, but it wasn’t hooked up to anything. It went mostly unused, except for the couple of VHS tapes in the VCR.

    2. The montly rent for 101 was $600 – every month I had to tap our accounts for $300 each. This was back at a time when my own personal income averaged $400 and then later $600 or so per month while I worked on the AmericanPride project. Thankfully yours was much higher, at least for awhile. It was a big deal for us to actually fork out that kind of cash. Suite 308 and Ed was a godsend.

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