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Real estate firm for the creative set plants flag in Arts District

By Hayley Fox
Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012, at 07:56AM

Creative Space Founder and CEO Tyler Stonebreaker in their new Arts District offices.

Handsome Coffee, Urban Radish and the State of Unique headquarters are just a few of the projects that Creative Space -- a commercial real estate firm for the artistic set -- is involved in. This company, based out of the Arts District, also handles marketing, development, architecture and other aspects of the realty process.

Tyler Stonebreaker, the founder and CEO of Creative, got his start doing corporate real estate and working with Fortune 500 companies. He eventually got tired of the ladder climb and wanted to do something that inspired him. That's when he founded Creative Space, a real estate company that specializes in working with businesses in the fashion, music and entertainment industries.

“In 2008 when I started this idea, everyone was talking about the recession and how the world was ending and I felt the world was beginning again…” said Stonebreaker.

He said that while every company needs an office, that work space can serve as more than just a functional backdrop: It can enhance the company's atmosphere, provide a cool, comfortable place for employees to work and contribute to the overall vibe of the business.

Although Creative Space also has offices in San Francisco and New York and handles real estate deals all across Los Angeles, Stonebreaker chose the Arts District for their new offices.

"We see the Arts District as a laboratory for new ideas," he said in a statement. "It is both a place and a mindset for urban discovery."

Creative really discovered the area's potential when working with client Handsome Coffee Roasters to find their current shop on Mateo Street. Since then, the company has been behind the opening of a long list of live/work spaces, retail stores and restaurants.

Stonebreaker said that recently they've helped street artist Retna find a new studio, worked to open Poketo's flagship store and are currently involved in the development of upscale grocery store Urban Radish. Other projects on the horizon include Zinc Cafe, a restaurant slated to open across from Handsome that will include a garden and a pizza oven, and the much lauded Stumptown coffee, a specialty roaster that's expected to open doors in the Arts District by the end of next year.

Stonebreaker admits that Creative Space is a profit-earning business trying to make money, but said his company also considers what's best for the neighborhood as it continues to change and become more populated.

“The natural progression [of the neighborhood] can be impacted positively and the normal pitfalls of gentrification, at least some of them, can be avoided by the right approach,” he said.

He explained Creative's approach as being one that tries to involve community stakeholders and form an "inclusive framework" for future developments. Stonebreaker said they try to listen to the area residents and attract in-demand businesses while discouraging others that "aren't the right fit" -- such as property owners that come from other neighborhoods and attempt to raise rents.

Creative is currently working with almost 30 businesses including Pop Physique, Undefeated, Joans on 3rd and Dry River Brewery.

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