A building built to encourage relationships

August 17, 2009
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For Danny Beckett, owner of Web and marketing development company Spearia, business centers around one word: "relationships" — and that's the theme behind Spearia's new home at 3934 West River Drive, which will open this fall.

"For us, we always have our doors open. We love to meet people, because at the end of the day, it's all about relationships," said Beckett. "It's all about people. If we don't offer to help people or support them or whatever, that's what's going to drive the economy."

That theme runs throughout Spearia's new 8,000-square-foot home. Spearia is investing $500,000 into remodeling what was originally the Comstock Park Lumber Co.

The façade of the building will be enhanced with large windows carrying the Spearia logo. Benches will underscore the logo, and the front doors, Beckett said, will be open to the general public.

Spearia will occupy the main floor, covering 4,000 square feet. When the public walks in, they will see a receptionist area straight ahead; to the left will be a coffeepot. Beckett said he hopes it will encourage people to come in, get a cup of coffee and sit in the café-style seating area in the back of the building. A deck will be added to that area, which overlooks the White Pine Trail and a creek that flows underneath the building. Beckett plans to include showers in the building for those who choose to bike to work.

In an attempt to foster relationships, collaboration and creativity, the Spearia lay-out has very few walls and the furniture will be moveable.

"As much as it is stressful to be around people, it's just as valuable. You get to see everything. It's not always positive, but you always know what's going on," he said. "Then you're able to address it, manage it and support; there's a lot of things that come with creating an open space with people."

Signature pieces will include custom-made work desks designed with mobility in mind.

"We're mobilizing everything so we can move anywhere we want," he said. In Spearia's current building, Beckett often came in at night and rearranged the furniture to help keep things fresh.

"If we just sit there, we're just stagnant," he said.

The few walls used in Spearia's space will be angled, Beckett said, to encourage creativity. Some walls will be moveable — and will provide lots of space to draw.

"The moveable walls — they're all whiteboards, and the tabletops are all whiteboards," he said. "Think about when you were a kid: You wanted to draw on everything, but you couldn't."

Upstairs, the building holds another 4,000 square feet, which Beckett plans to rent out to other creative companies and entrepreneurs. Spearia, along with Vanderkooy Management, plans to have the remodel finished by late September or early October. Innovative Design PC is the architect, while DAR Construction is the general contractor.

To help celebrate its new home, Spearia will be the driving force behind the Sept. 25 and 26 event called Comstock '09. The free event will take place in the Spearia parking lot and across the street at Dwight Lydell Park. The park will host children's activities, and the Spearia parking lot will host food vendors, a beer tent and music.

Beckett, a former professional Motocross racer, also has brought in Team Faith, a nonprofit, freestyle Motocross team led by last year's X-Games' gold medalist, Kevin Johnson. The Motocross team will make use of the Fifth Third Ballpark parking lot nearby to show what they can do, and smaller jumps and courses will be set up for kids. The Motocross portion of the event will require buying tickets to enter.

The event may seem like an over-the-top ribbon-cutting ceremony, but for Spearia, it's all part of what drives the company.

"Everything we do is different and we like that, because it's all about the experience," said Beckett.

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