I guess when you’ve been in one spot for 13+ years - a very prominent spot on the town’s main corner - word spreads pretty quick when you decide to move.
Or even when you haven't. The For Lease signs went up a few years back (oh my gosh, has it been 5 years already???) when upstairs neighbors The Gazette moved out, and I must have had two dozen people say they heard we’re moving. It’s happened a number of other times before and since. Fake news, all of it.
But this time, the rumor is true. And as it goes in a small town - even a big small town like ours - the news seems to be making the rounds. Several local journalists have called recently to inquire. It seems to be the first question I get at networking events recently. Usually, the “Hey I heard you’re moving… “, is followed by a “Why…?” or a “Where...?”
Just to be clear, we love our current space. I guess it’s starting to feel a bit dated to us, because we’ve been living in it for 13 years. However, people still walk in here for the first time and remark what great space it is. No argument from us. We love the location, the easy walk to all the shops and cafes, the experience of being at the very heart of our vibrant downtown. Our little Founders' Conference Room - overlooking the corner - has been called the best office in Frederick by too many visitors to count. There’s a whole bunch of good reasons we’ve stayed here for 13 years.
Of course, being on the main corner also reveals some of the city’s quirks. A visitor might occasionally raise an eyebrow at some of the characters they wander by on the way into the office. Like the guy with the “I’ve been repeatedly wronged by this bank” sign who showed up with some regularity a few years back … even though that bank disappeared 4 acquisitions prior. Or the guy walking up and down the street every morning, headphones on, singing a song at the top of his lungs that only he knows. Of course, then there’s the once or twice daily interruption - usually at the critical point of any given meeting - as the fire engines from the station just down the street blare by.
Quirks and all, though, we love it here - the beauty, the vibrancy, the people - it’s HOME right here, and we’re going to miss it. But we have no choice really. We’ve simply outgrown it. Around this time last year, we realized our latest hire took the last desk in the bullpen - and we still needed to hire more. We had our regular corporate rhythm meeting - and we had as many people overflowing into the hall as we had packed into the conference room.
So, love it here or not - It was just time. Once we started looking, we realized we only had two real criteria:
a) The new space had be within walking distance. Not like a John Muir Trail kind of walk. An easy no-problem-even-wearing-a-suit kind of walk. (Though that’ll be hard to test, because I can’t honestly remember last time someone actually wore a suit in our office.) As I told the journalist from the Frederick News Post - and anyone else who asked - there was simply no way we were leaving beautiful historic downtown Frederick.
b) The new space had to feel like an upgrade. Well, it didn’t have to be in that condition when we signed the lease. We’re fine with vision and fixer-uppers and restoration. In fact, we kind of like all that. But by the time we took occupancy, our customers and employees all had to feel like the new space was an upgrade. Preferably a big one. Because we couldn’t leave our prime location and beautiful space for a “lateral move”, much less a downgrade.
If you’ve been following along on Facebook, you’ve seen some of the pictures and local articles. We’re only moving about 2.5 blocks away. Just in case - we got some loaner bikes for the team. As for the second criteria, you can judge for yourself when we hold the open house ...
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