Ali Mouallem has come up with something he thinks might be an answer for people wanting to start out small in business. The former Husky building on Caribou Trail is where it’s happening.
“I always get calls from people who want to start a small business but don’t want to take a big leap,” he says.
A smaller leap might be a space of 250 square feet (or more); terms are reasonable, some costs are shared with other tenants and short-term leases are a possibility.
And how’s it going so far?
“Good!” says Mouallem. “We’ve rented out five offices – three in the last two weeks.”
The building used to house a single company on one floor and another one on the other. Husky Energy was the original owner but left town a few years ago. Focus Surveys once occupied a floor as well.
Mouallem bought it about a year-and-a-half ago, he says, and had anticipated a large tenant. But along came COVID and that fell through and other things developed, leading to this new idea as a sort of ‘business incubator’ type of space.
“It’s a really good starting point for a lot of people,” he says.
“There’s a bath salts and soaps business,” Mouallem says. “Essential Wellness.”
Another one is brand new – True North Scaffolding and Insulation. Then there’s Josh Boissonneault, back in town and doing business as ‘Access Locks.’
Yet another is Karina Gramiak’s photography business.
“I’ve watched her grow,” says Mouallem, from a small space to a bigger one in the time she’s been there.
Mouallem – whose company also owns the Plaza 2000 – says he has more than once turned down a prospective tenant at that location, because he thought they didn’t really know what they were getting into. When you’ve got to pay for 2,000 square feet, he says, plus utilities and such, you need to be prepared for it. With this new concept – much smaller spaces, opportunity for growth, flexible terms – it could be just the thing.
The building’s address is 301 9th St. NW