At Work: Modern and sleek space in the Short North

It took a little time, but Brett Kaufman found a great office space for his business, Kaufman Development, and he found it just where he wanted to be – in the Short North.

“I had looked all over downtown,” says Kaufman. His company had previously been at Easton but was outgrowing the space.

“The Short North has a lot of convenience and energy and fits in with who we are and the kind of people we are working with,” he says. “It’s a fun, good fit for us.”

He had been going back and forth on a space in the Short North and was not sure that it was going to go through. One afternoon, after having lunch with a friend at Northstar Café, it was suggested he walk the Short North one more time. He turned on Warren Street and saw a sign in the window of an office space at the corner of Warren and Pearl. At 3,000 square feet, the space was perfect.

“I love the openness of the space,” says Kaufman. “It’s a little off high Street, but you can still see it.” The ability to do whatever they wanted with the space was also a great draw. They recently partnered with the Hammond Harkins Galleries on an exhibit of Mark Bush’s work and are planning to participate in Gallery Hop a few times a year.

He worked with Andrew Rosenthal of Gieseke Rosenthal Architecture & Design to finish out the space. Rosenthal’s interior design people worked with Tim Friar of GRID Furnishings to furnish the space. The more basic work space pieces are from Continental Office Environments. There are also some pieces in the space that Kaufman has collected over the years. Kaufman designed his own desk and had the base fabricated by Fortin Ironworks.

Kaufman started Kaufman Development in June of 2011 after working in the banking industry and later as President of Schottenstein Real Estate Group, overseeing operations and business development. Starting his own company allowed him to get back into the development side of the business.

Kaufman Development currently has two apartment projects, The Gramercy at New Albany which is taking applicants, and 600 Goodale which is under construction.

Conceptual drawing for 600 Goodale.

With their projects, Kaufman Development works to “empower residents with engaging programs and community growth opportunities, [while] providing a stronger connection to the community at large.”

They are working with Bill Dawson, the Growing to Green Program Coordinator for the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, to develop programming for and the design of community gardens at their developments.

New residents at The Gramercy will find candles from Candle with a Cause, where the proceeds benefit the Community Shelter Board, in their welcome baskets. There is also an event on Saturday, August 18th called Inspire the World Day, where residents and the public are invited to spend a day focused on health, wellness, motivation and happiness.

Kaufman says he has been very fortunate to have some great people as mentors to guide him. He’s involved as a mentor with the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. His mentee has been interning with Kaufman Development.

“I’m still young enough to relate to those struggles,” Kaufman says. “I really enjoy helping someone sort through what they want to do with their life. It gives me energy.”

To learn more about Kaufman Development, visit

Interior office photography courtesy Ely Brothers Studio.

Photo of Brett Kaufman courtesy Chris Walker of Chris Walker Photography.

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.