I think I’ve said it two or three times now: I’ve got the location chosen and secured. Well, now it’s official! Yesterday I received (via courier) the full lease, every page initialed by myself and the landlord and all the appropriate blanks signed and witnessed.
All the people I’ve talked to about this have said it’s a real ‘champagne’ moment, but it hasn’t felt that way to me. I think it would have been a bigger deal had I not already had “the lease is negotiated” moments several times already. Don’t get me wrong; I’m ALL kinds of excited…maybe it’s just ‘cause I’m so focused on all the other things that need to be taken care of as well.
Because of the way Imaginary Wars is organised, I’ve had to meet up with lawyers a bit more than I initially thought I’d have to. Talk about eye-opening! Assuming you’re not breaking the law or about to be savagely beaten (or anything else viscerally attending to your mortality), I think the scariest moments you can experience in life happen in all the preliminary meetings you might have with lawyers. I’m sure the tactic all lawyers-to-be are taught early on in school is to always spell out just how absolutely wrong and terrible everything can go…and continue on by then pointing out all the ramifications of those absolutely wrong and terrible scenarios.
I’ve had some very sobering conversations these last two weeks.
–This isn’t to say that I’m against getting all lawyered up; it’s just that the process (the first time you do it, anyway) is pretty nerve wracking. Last week was mostly spent reeling from it.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
I’ve been making very small mention of the Imaginary Wars store location was—at first—just a prospective location that I was hoping would stay on the market until I was ready to talk about the lease; I only mentioned the location (and then only in nebulous terms) once I was actually talking to a leasing agent about the possibility of leasing the spot. Since then, it’s been two months of back-and-forth conversations between me and the landlord, as handled by the leasing agent. I got all superstitious and decided I shouldn’t jinx anything by writing too much about the location (I was even very brief about it in my business plan!) until I knew for sure what was going on.
So, now that everything is official, I guess I should start talking about the location! The shopping centre is called Southwood Corner and is a strip mall located in Calgary’s South West quadrant. I first came across the spot last summer; it was empty, but there wasn’t yet a lease sign up (and there was a long period of time where I wondered if it has already been leased with a later possession date as part of the deal).
I immediately liked the spot—not just because it’s beside a Tim Horton’s (I’m a fairly voracious coffee drinker) but because several of its traits earmark it as a good location: it’s lies on two fairly busy, very traveled roads; it’s easy to get to; it’s on a side of town that has no other games stores; and it’s in a strip mall with some very good businesses that bring people in for several different reasons (shopping, errands, banking, medi-centre, dining…and of course Tim Horton’s coffee & donuts).
It’s also two blocks from one of the Calgary Transit’s train stations!
Being easy to get to, regardless of one’s mode of transport was always one of my big goals with choosing a store location. There were also some perks for me (beyond Tim Horton’s); the store will be less than a ten-minute drive from home—and I’ll always be driving against rush-hour traffic whenever I (eventually) put in a 9-5 shift. For me, those are a pretty big deal as I’ve always despised long commutes (I’ve always living in small…ish cities such as Edmonton and Calgary, meaning short commutes were usually an attainable goal).
As for gamers’ perks, not only is there a train station two blocks from the store, there’s also a lot of cool amenities for gamers in Southwood Corner: a fast food place, a Tim Horton’s, a Humpty’s, a Planet Organic (for those gamers who aren’t fast-food junkies). Also, just four doors down is…a PUB!
So with the location now set in stone (and a legal binding document), I can really throw myself into getting the store ready for set up in March with plans of opening in April! Of course, that’s no small task—which makes my closing quote(s) even more relevant.
“The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last…The great battle of our time.”