May 22nd, 2009
Well, this is the last thing I expected on this Frenetic Friday. But it seems that arguably the de facto hub of the Portland startup tech scene, CubeSpace, is unfortunately in dire straits.
While we’re still not clear on the specifics dollar amounts involved in the situation, it is clear that the folks at CubeSpace are facing eviction.
The very short story is this: Tuesday we were served with a subpoena from our landlord, US Bank, for court order to effectively evict us from our space for non-payment of rent since March. If a judge grants them this action, we will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy, both on behalf of CubeSpace, and almost certainly personally as well. Our court date is Wednesday, and there is a holiday weekend between, which shortens an already tight timeline. We continue to try to work out a solution which is amenable to US Bank and which is workable for us. Based on our efforts to negotiate a solution over the past 10 months, US Bank has made it clear that they are not very interested in our survival.
Needless to say, the prospect of this cuts to the very heart of the our community. In my perspective, no one single organization has done more to facilitate the community.
Clearly US Bank taking the opportunity to serve these papers on the Friday before a three-day weekend smells as a little funny. And it seems that pulling this maneuver means that they have something planned for that space and are simply looking for the opportunity to booth the current residents.
Our PDX has a post up—”CubeSpace needs your help“—and more to come:
Naturally, the tech community—even on the eve of a three-day holiday weekend—is rallying to the cause. Here’s information about two efforts that have emerged already.
The twitterverse is abuzz this afternoon with word that CubeSpace, the popular Portland coworking and meetup space, is facing closure.
[UPDATE] And Mike has a story that will run in Saturday’s paper:
When word of CubeSpace’s plight hit Twitter, dozens of laments went up immediately and Portland’s twittizens went to work brainstorming ways to save the business.
In a little more than three hours, fans had contributed nearly $2,000 dollars in donations, with hundreds more pledged in support. It’s a remarkable gesture on behalf of a for-profit business.
And KGW’s Stephanie Stricklen is working to get the US Bank side of the story:
What’s more, folks from every edge of Twitter are working to spread the word with #savecubespace.
Without CubeSpace, I’d argue that the Portland startup tech community wouldn’t be where it is today. What might not have happened? BarCamp Portland, WordCamp Portland, Side Project to Startup, Open Source Bridge, Silicon Florist Lunch 2.0, and hundreds of user group meetings.
So what can you do? Read the posts, donate if you feel inclined, and please stay tuned for additional information. I’ll do my best to keep you posted.