Good Space, Inc. was founded in 1995 by David W. Spence, an attorney who had fallen in love with the Old Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Spence left a ten-year career in nonprofit community development to buy and save cool old buildings. After Spence's initial success with partner and mentor Trey Bartosh on Bishop Terrace Apartments, he decided to invest exclusively in his adopted neighborhood, The Bishop Arts District.
After three restorations of 1920s apartment buildings, Good Space opened its first commercial space in 2000 with the Bishop Arts Building, the largest and most complete renovation in that historic district. Two commercial projects followed in 2003 with the Route 80 Studios and the Bishop Arts Co-op, which provide flexible office space for newcomer design firms as well as affordable studio space for the area's longtime community of artists. For its 2004 renovation of Bishop Gate, a 1926 hotel converted to eight apartments, Good Space won its third Preservation Achievement Award. In 2006 and 2007, Good Space returned to Davis Street to buy a pair of vintage auto-body shops for conversion to mixed-use venues, dubbed Settles and Kemp Garages. Beginning in 2008, Good Space launched a partnership with a North Dallas retail developer to extend the success of Bishop Arts further west, literally to the next stop on the old streetcar line.
Since becoming a property owner in 1996, Good Space has taken its responsibility to the neighborhood very seriously. Good Space has been a leader is almost every civic initiative in the district, from organizing street fairs to pushing for better zoning, from promoting historic preservation to organizing the merchants' association.
For its efforts Good Space has witnessed the transformation of the Bishop Arts District from an obscure warren of artists to what the editors of The Dallas Morning News call one of the "Ten Things Dallas Can Brag About."
Good Space's owner David Spence regularly breaks one of the cardinal rules of real estate investing, "Never fall in love with a building." Good Space actively promotes that kind of love affair. We love our old buildings, our renovation crews love our buildings, and as a result our tenants love their buildings. How different our city would look if all developers felt that way!
Good Space agrees with urban historian Jane Jacobs when she writes, "New ideas must use old buildings." A city should preserve its old building stock not just for nostalgic or "historical" reasons, but because rugged older buildings serve as affordable incubators for new, creative ventures, both commercial and non-commercial.