You might have noticed (we’ve been shouting about it enough), we’re opening a new workspace in Shoreditch this July.
We’re very excited to get everyone in and bring the place to life. In the meantime (and to keep you just as excited as us), we’ve been chatting to Spike, our Expansion Manager, about what’s been going on behind the scenes.
Fill us in, what’s been happening so far?
With any new site, it’s a long process to get everything right before our all-important members move in — and Shoreditch is no different (if anything, it’s taken a bit longer than normal. Cheers Rona).
Our CEO Natsha viewed 52 Tabernacle Street back in November 2020 and I saw it a couple of months later — looking back, those viewings feel about a decade ago! Now we’re so close to opening our doors in July, things are really cooking.
From opening 9 new sites and spending 7 years making our members happy, we’ve learned a lot of lessons along the road. From typical fit-out challenges to understanding how members like to use the space once it’s open, all of that knowledge has been poured into this latest site in Shoreditch.
What most excites you about the project?
It’s a little bit of nostalgia for me. Shoreditch is the OG for Runway East (hence the east!) so we have a lot of great memories there. We’ve been trying to get back to the area since our lease ended in 2018 with Derwent who have now redeveloped that building.
The new site is a 3-minute walk from where we used to be, it’s a gorgeous building with a fantastic outdoor space and bar. Plus the Old Street roundabout is being redeveloped so the whole area is getting more love and will look great. I can’t wait to get back there! And I know some of our old members can’t wait either.
Another thing that really excites me is the design. We changed up the process for this site and focused on tying the whole building together. We’ve gone for vintage elements from the 60s, 70s and 80s while giving them a modern twist.
We’ve designed a fun feature on every floor — one of my favourites is a board game café! And we’ve been working with local artists for some cool murals in the decor. So there will be a lot for our members to enjoy no matter where they are in the building.
What’s the best thing about the new Shoreditch site?
One of the best things about the new site is the (currently unnamed, I’ll get back to you on that) outdoor space! It’s going to have secret garden vibes and I’m very excited to get our members out there to enjoy it. Oh, and there’s going to be a hidden room in the building so watch out for that…
What’s left to do before doors open?
As with any new site, things move really quickly and there’s always a lot to do. Between now and the middle of April it’s getting all the walls finished and cables in — the walls are double boarded now so we’re making good progress.
In May, we’ll be sorting the tea points. The real gem is when the glass is installed. After that, the carpets are laid and we can get to the good stuff. In June, all the furniture will be put in ready for our lovely members to move in in July, all going well.
What does a typical day look like for an Expansion Manager?
That’s a good question. Depending on the project, a portion of my time is spent on site with contractors and in progress meetings keeping an eye on how everything is going. I do a lot of planning for new sites, attend viewings and put proposals together once we’ve decided if a building is viable.
But not all of my day is focused on new sites, I still do a lot with the existing buildings we have. Now Lydia has joined the expansion team (hooray!), we’ve been working on new supplier lists, seeing where we can make savings and mapping out our processes. I do a lot of work with the sales and operations teams as well to make sure our buildings work in the best way they can — and all this informs any plans we make for new sites and how they function.