Sometimes I can't even believe that we have our dream location. Never in a million years could we have predicted it happening the way it did. When we first met Carl, all we wanted was to rent from him. He was akin to the idea because he knew the building was too large for just one business.
He also knew that he'd have to put some money into the building to get it ready for another business. At that time the economy started to really deteriorate and he wanted to wait until the Spring. So in the mean time Justin's mom had suggested an idea for starting small - throwing record sale/parties. She suggested we talk to Carl about doing them at the pizza place.
Our first party was February 26, 2009, almost one year ago to the day. Throughout the year we threw 6 or 8 parties at the pizza place. It gave us an opportunity to get to know Carl and for him to get to know us. Throughout that time we respectfully continued to ask him when he'd be ready to lease out the space to us.
At one point, he and I had had a conversation after one of our parties in which he told me what he'd want for the building should he be selling. Apparently there had been a bunch of people approaching him about wanting the building. I think there were three or so other interested parties. He mentioned several times that he had received some insulting offers.
Business started to slow down and he was working almost every single day. He was interested in hearing any ideas for how to use the space. He said he'd be willing to lease the whole space, but that was too big for just us. That's when we knew he was not going to lease just the one side to us. But in that same conversation he mentioned again that he'd be willing to sell the building. This left us with some thinking to do.
Re-enter Wayne. About a year earlier we met Wayne after he put an add up on Craigslist looking for people to partner with in a live venue/recording studio/coffeehouse. I thought, hey, we're a coffeehouse. Let's go meet him. We ended up getting along great and looked at multiple locations with him. This was all before we even knew about the pizza place. Wayne ended up leaving Portland for the summer and we eventually lost touch.
But flash forward to this past November and I reached out to Wayne again after we knew Carl wasn't going to rent us the one half. It was a great place to put our joint ventures. There's enough space to put the recording studio in the back and for him to have his business on the other side of us.
Because I knew how much Carl had wanted for the building, it gave us the advantage of not giving him an offer he'd think was insulting. The offer was accepted and all of a sudden we were signing the lease on our dream location. You absolutely could not have predicted that's how it would have happened. No one would ever think, let's get a guy off of Craigslist to buy a building and rent from him. But that's how it went down. It's still a little unbelievable.
Moral of the story: Don't focus on the how.
Focus on the end result.