Beyond the Build


Space Matters

We have a project underway that is adjacent to the Civil Rights District in our city. It will be a catalyst for change among entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups alike. This project is more than just “space to rent.” It is a place where there is daily social interaction among like-minded individuals, sharing ideas and dreams, connecting into the tech world and helping each other. There are also with “equity investors” who help make it all happen. When completed, this building will also improve the neighborhood for the lives of those who work there and nearby. It’s a legacy sort of project.

On a recent conference call, I heard the “rent per square foot” question and was reminded of a post I wrote a few years back. To summarize, I had a friend who sold homes in Georgetown. There was a couple she was showing around who, after seeing each home, routinely asked, ”Okay, tell us how much per square foot?” My friend finally said, “Where you are from, you may buy homes by the square foot, but here in Georgetown, we sell by the house.”

Using only the matrix of “price per square foot” misses the opportunities and value for those who will occupy the place. To me, it is the much larger picture of the “real value” and what one will get by landing in such a space. Look hard when you are measure real value and you will find much more and in turn be more successful. We are excited to be a part.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.