A long-time empty space in the heart of the Arena District has received a new life. You may remember treetree’s old space in the Berry Boltworks Building. While they loved that space, they were quickly outgrowing it, and even when they gave The Metropreneur a tour in March of 2013, it was tight.
“We absolutely and very quickly outgrew our old space,” says treetree President Becca Thompson Apfelstadt. “Seriously, it was like a clown car. We completed an expansion and refresh project two years ago and within 12 months were looking for new, larger space.”
Apfelstadt began the business with Tiffany Wise, located in Apfelstadt’s downtown Columbus loft. They have enjoyed deliberate and calculated growth since Spring 2009.
“We did the old fashioned thing and saved for years to be able to make each move and then furnish the new space,” she says. “We started the business with no debt, no investors, and built it project by project. We still operate only on cash today.”
Agent Clayton Davis helped them find their new home inside of the Battleship Building, a space just shy of 8,000 square-feet that comfortably fits their 19 full-time team members and has plenty of space for creative thinking.
“We collaborated with Kyle Katz who partnered with Jeff Meyer and Murray Davis to purchase the condo and outfit it just for us,” she says. “Kyle recognized the opportunity and shared his vision with us and it was just a match made in heaven. His creative eye combined with ours made for a fun, warm collaboration. We’d jump at the chance to work with him again as the developer.”
The location and the natural light were inspiring.
“We have 58 big, open windows, all around the perimeter,” she says. “We also loved the idea of being street level with the whole city right outside.”
The space is wide open, much like their old space was.
“We wanted to make the most of the usual lines, the nooks where we added built in benches, and mimic the organic shape of the building with curved walls, creating a deliberate flow for foot traffic. There are many areas for small collaboration and whole walls and hallways lined with cork for the work to be constantly pushed and evaluated.”
Every inch of the space was given careful consideration. Andrew Rosenthal’s team at GRA+D assisted with architecture and design and once again, designers from Continental Office Environments assisted with the furnishings. Axis Construction did the build out.
“Andrew’s team was brilliant,” she says.
The rest of the construction team delivered 10 days early on treetree’s aggressive timeframe, much to the agency’s delight.
“We made changes top to bottom,” says Apfelstadt. “Tearing out the ceiling and painting the fixtures up there, all new HVAC, all new, real hardwood floors throughout, new bathrooms and removing (almost all) walls. We love working in a very open environment.”
Custom furniture by The Carpenter’s Daughter is being made for treetree’s large conference room – a table and a matching wall piece to house a flat screen TV.
“We chose to work with metal like the outside of the building and mix in wood elements,” explains Apfelstadt. “We are also having a coffee table for the waiting room made from a 4-foot tree slice from my backyard.”
Although the team does get nostalgic about leaving the place where tree tree started, they are focused on the future. Both of the company’s owners are members of Vistage with Artie Isaac that provides them invaluable advice as well as peer groups of other business owners and CEOs facing similar challenges and opportunities.
“We’ve grown considerably, adding to the team and celebrating the space,” says Apfelstadt. “2014 was full of wonderful accolades and recognition for our team including Best Places to Work and being named to the INC 5000 list as number 506! We’re so proud of everyone at the agency.”
Photos by Walker Evans.
To learn more about treetree, visit treetreebranding.com.
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.