The Muskoka building I manage was almost empty in August of 2015.
Today, thanks to the team on the ground, the owners' ongoing capital infusions and financial support, and strategic asset management, it is now 75% full. It is on track to be completely full by year end.
Early on, it became clear that the owners had to be prepared to invest in their existing and prospective tenants. The owners funded the build of a brand new space for Manna Food Bank even though they only pay $1 per month in rent on a long term lease. The owners funded the build out of a brand new space for Muskoka Yarn Connection and Muskoka Futures in exchange for long term leases. The owners funded the installation of a new garage door entryway for Muskoka Quality Foods. This process continued, with some new tenants requiring far less money - a new desk and chair for example - and others requiring far more - new drywalled offices, new electrical, HVAC and plumbing.
The end result is a building full of tenants who are happy and who feel appreciated. They feel appreciated because they are appreciated. We are now fielding calls from a number of local tenants who want to relocate to the building because it has a positive energy and feels like a hub of business and social activity. We are talking with enough new tenants right now that we expect to be full by year end and hopefully before. We current have 47 different tenants and by year end should have between 55 and 60.
The evolution of the building has been fascinating to be a part of. The building now has an energy and a life all its own. There are such a diverse array of tenants that the Bracebridge Examiner ran a front page article last week on the building and its residents. I am grateful and humbled to be involved with the process and to have met so many interesting and quality people along the way.
I look forward to watching the remaining spaces fill with more good people. Good people make for good buildings. Investing in our tenants has proven to be a very good investment indeed.
Entrepreneur and mom to four amazing kids
Q: Why did the can crusher quit his job?
A: Because it was soda pressing.