An innovative co-working concept for entrepreneurs in need of flexible office space and private warehouse suites is opening in Atlanta. Former Techstars Atlanta Co-Managing Director Tyler Scriven is the powerhouse behind the venture, along with a team of seasoned logistics and e-commerce experts.
Saltbox is a novel co-working and co-warehousing hub for “the concrete class” or businesses that, for whatever reason, need a concrete floor to run their business or warehouse. This includes e-commerce, importers, exporters, distributors, and others.
Traditionally, such founders have had to use public storage space or even their homes to push out product. Saltbox is an innovative solution. Uniquely, the warehouse suite will feature air conditioning. Moreover, with units ranging from about 300 square feet to about 900 square feet, they’ll also be built in a way for the walls to come down and make them even bigger.
“For most of our customers, this is a dream come true,” says Scriven, who came across the problem while leading his own e-commerce, retail, and products company. “To be able to have a properly sized warehouse facility with all the resources they need.”
Included in the price will be carts, pallet jacks, loading docks, and racking equipment necessary. Making all this accessible, Scriven says, will be a 10X improvement in their work experience.
The 27,000-square-foot facility will be broken up into three major components that include the warehouse suite, a central lobby, and a state-of-the-art co-working wing. It’s being remodeled right now, but Saltbox will be designed to be a functional space with a robust community.
Members will have access to kitchen facilities, hot desk seating, plenty of private offices, and lounge spaces. There will also be a photo studio and a self-service packing station.
Programming will be less tech and “more uniquely suited and of interest to the concrete class,” says Scriven. He lists working capital, importation tariffs, and countries that can source products as examples. Those are things that are critically important to the day-to-day operations of the sort of businesses that will work in the spaces, he adds.
Scriven says that his team is excited and grateful to have signed up early members who have already made deposits on their spaces. They’re looking forward to getting into the building once it’s finished, he adds. The anticipated opening date for the inaugural co-working space in Atlanta’s Westside is December 2019.
Saltbox raised $3.2 million dollars in venture funding when they closed in June. Investors include Village Global, Kapor Capital, MetaProp, and Arena Ventures.
“Thankfully it was a smooth process for us,” he says. “I think that our team brings a lot of experience and credibility to this new company. That allowed us to track some really great partners.” He is working alongside fellow co-founders Paul D’Arrigo, Maxwell Bonnie, and Chetan Sharma.
Atlanta Westside is the initial outpost but Saltbox plans to open across the country. Scriven shared that the city’s booming entrepreneurial ecosystem makes it ideal for the first space.
“In particular, being at the intersection of the industrial real estate and logistics industries, there’s a lot of that activity happening in Atlanta,” he says. There’s a lot of early-stage concrete class entrepreneurs that need a space like ours. I think there’s this broad positive momentum behind the entrepreneur ecosystem in Atlanta today.” All of which he thinks makes this the perfect place to start a company.
Scriven also describes a shift happening where Saltbox Westside is located. The city is building up to accommodate the huge number of people flocking here to plant roots. Seemingly the northwest side of town, which has historically had an industrial presence, is changing.
“I consider this location to be a transitional industrial area,” he says. “To mean that while there are still industrial spaces like this one, it’s clearly on a path towards transitioning to more modern use cases. I think in a lot of ways, Saltbox is the perfect type of business to lead that transition.”
Moving forward, the team will be looking for locations that are similar, in that they offer a favorable balance of function, convenience, comfort, and proximity to things that people care about.
“We have huge aspirations,” he says. “I think as we think about the overarching goal, physical space is a vehicle of the business. But our real mission is to improve the outcomes for the concrete class entrepreneurs. To create more access and opportunity for them and to reduce the friction of starting a business of that nature. There are opportunities to do that around the country, perhaps all around the world.”