Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cloudship

Urban Rethink

15 posts in this topic

When did Urban Rethink(Re)Open? How the heck did I miss this?

I find this idea pretty fascinating. I have actually heard of such places, I have followed to a degree the FabLab/MakerSpace movement. this type of idea is ripe for Orlando, and I am glad to see something like this open up. Can anyone fill me in on more details? It does seem to be a bit heavy on the book publishing/book reading/office work end, but it sounds like this has just started and still has yet to fully develop. How will this tie into the artist/inventor community?

I think it is a great idea, the one concern I have is that there is really no space in the immediate area for those people to grow into. Thorton Park is already a bit pricey a neighborhood, if some of these ideas do take off, where are they going to go? Most of the houses seem to me to be too gentrified already to be turned into studio space. I can see some offices, but again the rents are bound to be high.

So, how can we connect this to an area where you would be able to find cheaper space?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


You are probably right about the rent, but there are plenty of empty storefronts in Thornton Park/South Eola District. There are a few at Post Parkside, a couple at the Paramount, one or two at 101 Eola, Star Tower, and even some on Washington. I don't fully understand the concept of Urban Re-think though and I am wondering if it will catch on.

Edited by Pete C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe it's shared workspace that is sold like a gym membership with different levels/benefits. Entreprenuers and freelancers can use it if they simply need a place to hold a meeting with a client when their home office won't suffice and creative types can take it a step further and benefit from other creative people to bounce ideas off of.

It's a great looking spot and it's nice to see Infusion Tea and Virgin Olive Market have some space in Thornton Park thanks to that partnership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing they are missing is the ability for a small business owner to get a business license in the shared facility, so that the business can be run solely from that space and create a bank account.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyday of the open source movement? This is open source business. If you want to understand a little more, I would check out the Fab Lab movement - this isn't so much about business operations as business ideas. There are creative mentors on staff, it is a collaborative environment. All that talk about a Creative Economy, this is what it the creative economy is - not businesses in creative fields, but new businesses starting up in a creative new way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe it's shared workspace that is sold like a gym membership with different levels/benefits. Entreprenuers and freelancers can use it if they simply need a place to hold a meeting with a client when their home office won't suffice and creative types can take it a step further and benefit from other creative people to bounce ideas off of.

It's a great looking spot and it's nice to see Infusion Tea and Virgin Olive Market have some space in Thornton Park thanks to that partnership.

You're right on on your description. This isn't the first office sharing environment in Orlando, though. CoLab Orlando has been around for about three years and occupies two full floors of the Angelbilt building right next to Wall St. Plaza. There's no storefront, so a lot of people are unaware of its existence. The majority of the tenants are tech firms, and as they grow, they're able to get more space to fill with coders and designers.

They used to have a drop-in space that people who normally would be working from home or at Starbucks could plug in and use the free WiFi and interact with other creative types. I went there a few times when I was laid off a couple of years ago so I could feel like I had a place to wake up and go to.

These are the sort of grassroots developments for the Creative Class I'm not so sure would happen in a ready-made environment like the proposed Creative Village. These sort of places exist and thrive because of low rent. Urban ReThink is obviously a loss leader just like the bookstore was for the developer of Thornton Park Central. I don't see how office space built on spec would pay off to serve as incubator space unless City Hall, the Chamber, or EDC underwrites it.

Edited by palmtree73

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Urban ReThink operation, from what I gather, assuming it is similar to the one in New York, takes the CoLab concept a step further. I guess I am going to compare this to HackerSpaces versus FabLabs, even though I know most people dont know what those are, either. A HackerSpace is basically a clubhouse where a bunch of do-it-yourselfers get together and work on projects. It is a social environment, but each one operates individually. The FabLab takes that concept a step further - they standardize the available tools, and the most important one of them is a video conferenceing system, so that the FabLab in Bosotn can connect to the one in Kansas City, the Netherlands, Ghana, and India. The idea of a FabLab is not so much Do it Yourself as Do It together.

With the Urban Rethink idea, you not only have the tools and workspace, but you have well for lack of a better term, a kind of lab manager/Tutor, who is there to help the people looking to create their ideas. CoLab is more about people who already have their businesses starting, Urban Rethink is about getting business ideas off the ground.They are very complimentary.

So, OK, we now have these types of places to cultivate creativity. Now, we need to find a way to grow that. That's where I think the whole Creative Village idea as it stands now goes wrong, and what needs to be rethought. What if we can find a way to give people that next step? I am thinking space not only for offices, but growing studio space, workshop space, store space, and manufacturing space. Not only does the space need to be affordable, but there needs to be both access to equipment and facilities, and some kind of creative social environment that extends outside of the office walls. What is the next step here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the events Urban Rethink hosts the is a forum called, "Rethinking the City" the last Tuesday of each month. I've attended for quite a while when possible. I will not be able to make it next Tuesday but I wanted to share the agenda in case anyone wanted to attend.

I've been thinking a lot lately that we should really have a meet up sometime as we all are of pretty similar minds but with surely different perspectives and backgrounds. This forum seems like a natural place for that - (even though I can't make it this month).

What: ReThinking the City: Better Blocks, Food Markets and Bike Share

Where: Urban Rethink, 625 E Central Ave, Orlando

When: Tuesday, June 26th, 6:30pm

Live from Texas (via the magic of the internet), Andrew Howard will discuss the Build a Better Block Project started in Dallas and now spreading across the country reviving neighborhoods one block at a time (betterblock.org).

Here on the the ground:

John Rife will discuss plans for the East End Market in Audubon Park to provide a place for local food artisans to hawk their wares on a daily basis (https://www.facebook.com/EastEndMkt).

Peter Martinez will discuss bringing Bike Share to Orlando (https://www.facebook...307481252673908)

Courtesy RSVP here: https://www.facebook...72604429537374/

Edited by Downtown Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I'd be up for a meet-up at some point - I'm in Boston but come back frequently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a good conversation this month. I would love to go but I went to some events there and the $5 cover just seemed like a throw away, as the events (not Rethinking the City) were just more of ads than conversations. Is the $5 cover still in place and has the conversation gotten any more active?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The $5 is still there. It caught me off guard too (I didn't pay the first time because I don't usually carry cash). I'm not a fan of the "pass the collection bucket" towards the beginning of a meeting either - it's like tipping before finding out how the service will be. And of course, the worse the event, the smaller the crowd, the more awkward it is to pass it on without dropping money into it.

That said, I wouldn't want to detract anyone interested from attending - it is a "recommended donation" and the guys there are laid back and never made a big deal about it.

For this month's topic, I think it's worth it just to hear/see the plans for East End Market and be able to interact directly with John Rife, the developer and founder of this and things like the Winter Park and Winter Garden Harvest Festivals. Since the activity of the conversation often depends on the speaker or panel and how approachable they are, I think this portion will be very interactive and the topic will get good conversation going. I wen to the East End Market open house just last week and a group of 10 of us were there for an hour conversing - and that was just an informal open house.

The bikeshare should draw lots of questions as well. From what I gather, this Bikeshare group that's popped up on Facebook is more of an advocacy group than the folks who might actually contract out services to connect to SunRail (cities, counties, FDOT or the vendors). Since these events attract a lot of urban planners and transportation planners, it will be fun to see that interaction as I think the more public and non-industry types that can be part of the conversation, the better the results will be.

I don't know how the skype portion will go - and in the past when it's ONLY been a skype conversation on the agenda, I skip the meeting. Betterblock has done some great stuff in Texas and I have a friend that's been involved in an actual project in Fort Lauderdale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UR is closing October 1st per the Orlando Sentinel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, Urban closed and HUE - that's a nice chunk of space. 24-hour Walgreens, please (at least I can dream.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.