This week we finished up our discovery meeting with Keller with a trip to the Revolution Public Market located at 2160 Holmgren Way, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The concept of small businesses operating together, yet separately, in one location, under one roof, is what the Revolution Public Market is about. This type of concept from what we understood offered entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their business, or to see if their business could even be a sustainable business. Bringing new ideas to the community is a focus of the Revolution Public Market. Currently, there are only two businesses operating at this location; Bountiful Boards and Souper Day Green Bay.
The Barnyard Estates has a similar mission to the Revolution Public Market, in the fact that several small separate businesses operate individually inside or under one structure. However, despite a similar mission, there are many differences as well as similarities between the two, which I would like to discuss in an effort to gain a better understanding of what the Barnyard Estates is all about.
The Focus is Local. Between both entities the focus is around local business and community this is true. With that being said The Barnyard Estates “local focus” means within Pulaski and surrounding communities. This will be a priority. Doing business locally within the community will be a stress point with our businesses and any marketing Promote Pulaski does to help generate business and tourism in Pulaski, Wisconsin. The Revolution Public Market, which is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with a population of over 106,000 doesn’t necessarily give it that “local focus” or drive. I call it a “warm fuzzy” feeling. The Barnyard Estates, is located in a village that has around 4,000 people. It’s the feel of a small town, and supporting those not only within the Barnyard Estates but also in the Village and surrounding small towns and communities will be important.
Independent & Connected – The concept of community with the Revolution Public Market is definitely on a lot smaller scale than that of The Barnyard Estates. Just by visualizing, we estimated the initial floor space at 1000-1500 square feet. There was a common area to sit and relax in the middle of the businesses, which is a concept of the Barnyard Estates. However, our first impression when we walked in was “what’s going on here.” There wasn’t a clear definition of what kind of businesses occupied the space. The signage was confusing to us as first time visitors. In fact, without talking to the owner of Bountiful Boards, I wouldn’t have really known what she did, or what type of businesses were involved. One of the challenges we discussed during our discovery meetings with Keller was what type of signage would be appropriate. The Barnyard Estates signage would need to be prominent at the entrance, with smaller or digital signage indicating other businesses were under the barnyard roof so to say. Inside The Barnyard Estates there would be clear and consistent signage for each space.
Hours of Operation – The Revolution Public Market allowed for different businesses to operate at different times, with no consistent hours. This definitely allows for flexibility for the business owners, however, confusing to the patrons entering the structure or planning on visiting the Revolution Public Market. The Barnyard Estates will have set hours for the building, and at the same time recommendations provided to the tenants on how many hours the business be open during the time the business is open to the public. In fact, we will be utilizing technology to open and close spaces automatically and systematically. Key fobs will be a necessity for all who reside within or lease spaces, and any tenants will be able to access the building at anytime.
Building Design – This is where we learned that partnering with an organization like Keller, is a definite plus for the building design. Planning, questions and understanding the concept and what the building and spaces will be used for is extremely important initially. It’s not just taking a plan and placing businesses and spaces within in it. It’s knowing how many people will be in each space so we can get square footage. It’s understanding the flow of the building so that it makes sense to the tenants and the visitors and people that use the space. It’s even knowing what the general feel or ambience of the building. As an example the Barnyard Estates will be rustic, modern and open, utilizing wood, steel and glass. When we entered the Revolution Public Market, it didn’t seem as though any of these questions were asked with the current floor plan design. In fact, it felt confusing and cold with the use of unpainted (or uncoated) cement floors and big glass door – with no separate entrance.
Occupants|Tenants – Both entities need tenants to support and maintain the building. The Revolution Public Market appears to seek out any business that is local, has new ideas and new concepts and gives them an opportunity to grow their business. The Barnyard Estates is a little different, however small business is important to The Barnyard Estates. As an example, having 3-4 anchor businesses that currently serve the community, or will be serving a specific need will be important to help sustain the concept of The Barnyard Estates. In fact, the Barnyard Estates will have outlets for food trucks that will make it convenient for these smaller operations and to be able to offer food options is important to the steering committee. The Polish Restaurant (Prince of Pierogi) and Cultural Center & Retail shop are specifically designed to bring more tourists to Pulaski, Wisconsin. The Coffee Shop/Breakfast space is a need currently in the community. The shared kitchen will serve so many. From caterers, pastry chefs, bread makers, confectioners, to cooking classes, cookie decorating, canning with the family and so much more. The community event room, another needed space that will allow individuals and businesses to rent the room for birthday parties, graduations, showers, rummage sales, farmers markets, corporate training and educational events will be available to the community. The commons area will allow residents and non-residence a place or an outlet to stop for a few minutes, eat, work, socialize and even a space to hold indoor farmers markets or musical events. Every space within The Barnyard Estates has been strategically designed for the needs of the community and small businesses. The second floor space that will house more professional type businesses, co-shared business space, conference room rentals and more.
All in all, seeing first hand and stepping into a building with a similar concept to the Barnyard Estates was a great experience for the group. It allowed us to get a feel for building design, the ambience and even the flow of the businesses within. It also helped us to understand why there are so many details and questions in an initial discovery meeting. It helped us to understand why so much time up front will save a lot of time down the road. Through this first impression, we feel that we have so much more purpose and passion for Pulaski, and for building The Barnyard Estates. Knowing that we are not just putting up a building but serving the community in a way that will bring people together. A building that will be built by the people, for the people in more ways than one.
What’s in store for this coming week? We’ll be meeting with a local business to share our dream of The Barnyard Estates, and hopefully gain some additional support of the project. By the end of this week we will be determining the cost of the project, and by July 31st, a new building design that is much more in-tune to our project needs. In August we plan to do a formal presentation, to an elite group of businesses and individuals that will help us propel the project forward and gain support and financial backing. If you have an interest in learning more about the Barnyard Estates and would like to be included in this August (evening) meeting which will be held at Keller in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, email: email@example.com, or call Tammy at 920-655-4587.