April 24, 2021

House Hunters: District Loom Commercial Space in Bozeman, Montana!

House hunting in this market is CRAZY! Although, we haven't yet found a house to purchase, we have signed a multi-year commercial lease in beautiful Bozeman, Montana (maybe we will just live there ;)... kidding!

We thought it would be fun to walk you through the commercial properties we scoped out and reveal the WINNER that will serve as District Loom Headquarters!! Please excuse the low quality iphone photos ;)

This space will serve as a photo and fulfillment studio and showroom by appointment rather than a retail shop. Most of our sales occur online and while living in Montana, we are excited to enjoy the freedom in scheduling our days to allow ample time outdoors in nature! (Why else move there right?!)

OPTION 1: First up, we met with the developer of a 'Live, Work, Play' style complex and fell in LOVE with this sunny South facing corner space.  It was a few miles from downtown and right across the street from a rodeo that brings a lot of foot traffic during the summer months. (Yee-haw!)

Downtown location, natural light, cool neighboring businesses with shared customer base, The plaza name had 'District' in it ;), freedom to build out exactly what we want!

Cons: Time to build out, material and labor costs of the build out are SKY HIGH right now due to a building boom in Bozeman and lack of trade professionals to keep up with demand.

OPTION 2: The second place we stumbled upon because of it's location at a high traffic intersection.  We were sitting at a stop light on our way back from a day snowboarding at Big Sky and the big FOR LEASE sign caught my eye!

Pros: road visibility, modern exterior, freedom to build out exactly what we want

Cons: Same cons as above, time to build out, material costs, and rent price was pretty high for location on the outskirts of town. Neighboring businesses in the same complex were not aligned with DL's customer base.

OPTION 3:  We also saw this property while driving back from snowboarding and fishing on the river off the same road that leads to Big Sky!

Pros: Lowest rent, already built out with plumbing and electric (full build out not necessary therefore decreasing overall set up costs), on a busy road that leads to Big Sky, Cool businesses in the same complex with shared customer base.

Cons: CURB APPEAL. Although I knew I could make the inside space look beautiful, I couldn't get past the initial impression our client's would have when pulling in.  A few updates to the outside and improved signage requirements could get it there but that was not for me to change.

OPTION 4: On the way back from meeting with the commercial real estate agent for property #3, I saw a little sign in the window of property #4 that was illegible, BUT  the SHAPE and location of the sign looked like it *could* be a for lease sign.  I asked Brett to turn around and pull in.  He said "No, I need to get back to the condo to log back onto work!".  I dropped him off, turned the truck around and drove back solo.  It WAS a 'For Lease' sign...

Pros: Road traffic to Big Sky, Neighboring businesses in the same Home niche serving the same customer base, already built out, fairly priced, owner of the building owns a BIG Home Interior Finishes company.

Cons: Not downtown, bathroom, kitchen, office updates

THE WINNER for us was property #4!!!

A huge weight was lifted when I looked through the window and saw it was built out with a functional layout! I am excited to make some cosmetic changes and get the rugs in there! 

After reading the Pros and Cons and looking at the photos, I'm curious to hear which property you would have gone with? Share in a comment below!


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