Independent businesses and artists together (Part II)

I’m finishing up the discussion (for now) about the Logan Square Arts and Business Center (Logan Square ABC).  I’ve had a lot to say about it already because I believe it’s a promising direction for a vital Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Square.

Making room for business

While the Logan Square ABC lends legitimacy to the artist tenants, it can also create room to thrive and grow for business tenants.  Like so many entrepreneurs, one of the founders of the Logan Square Mompreneurs, Carolyn Ou, started her Sandbox Consulting career and business coaching business from her home.  But, as a mom, that quickly meant doing business out of her car!

With two kids at home, the car was often the only place she could find the quiet to coach her clients by phone.  Even when there was relative quiet on the home front, Carolyn found it difficult to separate home and work life.

She moved out of the home and into another co-office space that she shared with another.  When her co-office mate decided not to renew the lease, Carolyn was faced with the less appealing choices of moving back to her car! or facing the possibility of having to keep finding co-office mates with whom to share the space.  Instead, she looked at more tenable options.  I learned of her search, and connected her with the Logan Square ABC, and it has worked out well for her.

Carolyn likes creating and feeding community (literally:  she fed our bonding with La Boulangerie croissants!), and she has found a nice community in the Logan Square ABC.  She, too, would like more opportunities for the tenants to support each other and share resources.

There are certainly synergies to work from.  There are the artists previously mentioned (another is Carol Schmitz) who certainly could conspire to create with the arts organization previously mentioned.

There are synergies of proximity.  With several of its directors now housed at the Logan Square ABC, the Logan Square Chamber of Arts is another arts organization tenant, though one without a specified office or desk.  They are tasked with managing the soon to open Logan Square Community Arts Center of the Hairpin Lofts building across the street, while leasing for the Hairpin Lofts has a temporary office at the Logan Square ABC.

There are synergies of service.  The previously mentioned businesses (another is attorney Fernando M. Vian) all offer services that the other tenants could conceivably use personally, professionally, or both.

Yet finding opportunities for the current tenants to support one another is still a challenge when all the tenants so far have secured the small, individual, private offices.

Securing tenants for the more communal desks will go a long way toward shaping the future of the Logan Square ABC.  As well, some community minded events in the space.

If it takes off more toward the co-working model, there’s even more promise for Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Square and the City of Chicago.  On Twitter, Inc. Magazine recently tweeted from a conference that 80 percent of co-workers end up starting a business together.  The origin of the statistic is not clear, but was apparently quoted by Jessica Lawrence at the conference.  She followed up by tweeting, “Coworking space = conjugal bed for ideas : ),” but also noted one of the key differences between co-working and co-office space:  that the former is a more organic endeavor tough to engineer.

There’s still room for more artists, more businesses, and the possibility of co-working.  If intrigued, please make an inquiry.  Who wouldn’t like to see even more creation going on in the neighborhood?


Summer diversions in Logan Square:

Logan Square Literary Review Issue VII
Release Reception
:  live readings and
literary talk amongst the
(mostly?) non-literati,
Tuesday, July 5, 7:00 p.m.
at Cole’s, 2338 N. Milwaukee Ave.

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