In 2009 my business partner and I took over a lease from a hot rod shop. On first inspection, the place looked rough and it took some vision to see through the grease and engine blocks that dominated the space. We were only minutes from closing the deal on another space (no papers had been signed though) when this place presented itself. With a humble apology and a bottle of good Canadian whiskey we broke the verbal agreement with our agent and signed the papers for the new place. It was decision that we would not regret.
The upstairs office was a whole different story. When we took over the place, it was a blacked out dungeon. There were ethernet cables everywhere and some crazy nasty purple carpet. It was bad. After we had it all torn out, knocked a few walls down we could see some potential. At the time we were renovating a small office for ourselves downstairs so we were thinking to lease the space upstairs out until we were ready for expansion. With this in mind, we wanted it neutral, bright, and an easy space to adapt.
The company that eventually moved into the space was one that we had worked with in the past, and had a good relationship with. They were our first tenants, and are still there today.