At Work: Ibel Agency Enjoys Move to Discovery District

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Sebastian Ibel, President, Ibel Agency. Photo by Anne Evans.

When Sebastian Ibel was looking for a new space for his Ibel Agency to call home after selling his building in the Short North, the idea of owning a building full of creative businesses just fell into place.

“Jonathan Barnes and I decided to look for a new space to own and renovate and we found this old factory building,” says Ibel. “I really like our open shared office space, and the amount of windows that flood the space with light.”

The space at 243 North Fifth Street in Downtown Columbus has been rebranded to Factory No. 6 and its four floors are home to a collection of creative businesses including Ibel Agency, Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design Ltd, Fulcrum Creatives, Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative, Choptank Agency, Five ID Studio, and more.

Ibel Agency, Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design, and Direct Source Packaging occupy an entire floor of about 7,000 square-feet. Using colored film over glass walls, the space is kept open and airy, with defined offices visually separated in a way that lets natural light flood the entire floor.

The natural light is one of Ibel’s favorite aspects of the building and what really drew him to the space.

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The building had been partially renovated, but they still had quite a bit to do before moving in during May of 2015. Renovations took about six months after purchase and included new electric, new HVAC, exposing and painting all of the original beams and woodwork, new bathrooms and kitchen, new LED lighting fixtures, adding fiber optics cable, and new plumbing.

Floors were refinished in a way that enhances their well-worn quality. The color and creakiness make you feel you are walking through history.

Showers were added to make the building attractive to cyclists and companies that support alternative transit.

“It is all about being urban,” says Ibel. He plans to add some bike racks to the outside grounds of the building, but as a landlord, he has no issue with tenants and their employees bringing bicycles into the building.

One of the carry-overs from the previous Short North home of Ibel Agency is the artwork that Ibel’s wife Rebecca has collected over her years as a gallery owner.

The crisp white walls showcase a rotation of the couple’s substantial art collection and provide plenty of space for the larger works.

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A mix of store bought furniture and second hand furniture acquired from different places round out the essentials. Desks sourced from IKEA give the team of seven their own place to work and provide a cohesive look to the space. IKEA cabinets made into functioning tables and storage provide a larger workspace when employees need to collaborate on a project or visualize it another way.

Jonathan Barnes came by when I was touring the building and seeing the animated way he and Sebastian talked about it made it easy to get excited about their vision, and it was clear how much they enjoy being there. Ibel also mentioned the proximity to the creativity happening at CCAD and being a part of Columbus’ Discovery District as a great reason to be in that area of the city, which made the move very easy. And the views! The views of Downtown from the building are inspiring.

“The entire energy of the building is fantastic,” says Ibel. “I love it.”

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For more information, visit Ibelagency.com.

Photos by Anne Evans.

Do you know of, have, or work in, a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, please contact Anne Evans.