Is freespace the future for unused commercial real estate?

by / Tuesday, 25 June 2013 / Published in iCORE, Industry Trends

Freespace[freespace], a movement dedicated to repurposing unused commercial space to bring communities together launched on June 1st in the heart of San Francisco, CA.  The group started with a 14,000 sq. ft. warehouse in SOMA.   First month’s rent was a mere $1.

The driving question behind it all:

What could you do if you had the space and social infrastructure to freely organize around creative ideas and projects in your city?

Amid continued debate between the benefits of communal office space vs. the flexibility of telecommuting, this group of young entrepreneurs took it upon themselves to demonstrate how “communication, collaboration and innovation flourish when people have space to come together. “

How is the space being used?

Simply put – to harvest innovative ideas.   Ranging from projects around free bike share and a learning center for the homeless to open mic nights and engagement workshops, this group has been pulling the community together to make a difference.

So what’s next?

[freespace] is currently using indiegogo, a crowdfunding solution that empowers ideas and enables people to donate funds easily, to raise money for one more month in SOMA. 

The team plans to use this time to document the whole experience, capturing best practices and lessons learned.    That way the [freespace] concept can be replicated across the US (and eventually the world).

And they’re off to a good start.  Before their initial month in SF has even wrapped up, they have started two freespaces in other cities.

Freespace 1

One week into the [freespace] project – transformed by local artists