In the heart of Traverse City, Michigan, Common Grounds Cooperative is revolutionizing community living by merging commercial and residential spaces in a cooperative model. To support this innovative environment, Spot On Networks provided state-of-the-art managed Wi-Fi solutions. This case study explores how Spot On Networks enhanced connectivity at Common Grounds, fostering a thriving community space.

Background

Common Grounds Cooperative is a unique real estate nonprofit cooperative dedicated to empowering the community through the development and operation of community-owned real estate. The 47,000-square-foot mixed-use development includes commercial spaces focusing on food, family, arts, and wellness, alongside workforce housing and short-term guest stay units.

The cooperative operates under a dual ownership model. Business owners occupy and own their commercial spaces, while community members pay an equity share to participate in the cooperative. This model not only fosters a sense of ownership and community involvement but also provides various benefits, including discounts and participation in the governance of the cooperative.

Challenges

As a pioneering cooperative, Common Grounds faced several connectivity challenges:

  • Ensuring reliable and high-speed internet across diverse spaces, including commercial and residential areas.
  • Supporting multiple businesses with different connectivity needs.
  • Providing seamless Wi-Fi access for residents, visitors, and businesses.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the necessity for robust technological solutions to support remote work, virtual events, and safe, controlled access to various spaces within the building.

Solution

Spot On Networks implemented a comprehensive managed Wi-Fi solution tailored to the unique needs of Common Grounds:

Resident Services: Spot On Networks provided a robust Wi-Fi network throughout all residential areas, ensuring that residents had reliable and high-speed internet access for daily activities, remote work, online learning, and entertainment. This included the installation of access points in common areas such as lounges and fitness centers, enabling seamless connectivity as residents moved through the property.

Back Office: The back office operations at Common Grounds benefited from a dedicated, high-speed internet connection to support administrative tasks, security systems, and property management software. Spot On Networks ensured that the office had a secure and reliable connection, which was critical for maintaining smooth operations and effective management of the cooperative.

Commercial Spaces: Each commercial tenant at Common Grounds had specific connectivity requirements based on their business operations. Spot On Networks provided customized Wi-Fi solutions for each business, ensuring that cafes had the bandwidth to support high customer traffic, wellness centers could stream classes and manage appointments online, and art studios could offer digital workshops and market their work effectively.

IOT Connectivity: Spot On Networks enabled IoT connectivity throughout Common Grounds, integrating smart devices such as lighting, thermostats, and security systems. This allowed for automation and remote control, enhancing the efficiency and security of the property. Smart sensors for lighting and HVAC systems helped reduce energy costs and improve sustainability, while smart locks and surveillance systems ensured safety for residents and businesses.

Roaming Experience: One of the key advantages of the managed Wi-Fi solution was the seamless roaming experience it provided. Residents, guests, and business owners could move throughout the entire property without losing their internet connection. This was particularly beneficial for residents using mobile devices and for businesses needing consistent connectivity for customer service and operations.

Implementation

The implementation process involved several key steps:

  1. Assessment and Design: Spot On Networks conducted a thorough assessment to design a customized Wi-Fi infrastructure that would meet the varied needs of Common Grounds.
  2. Installation: Advanced Wi-Fi equipment was installed throughout the building, ensuring coverage in all commercial and residential areas. The installation process was managed to minimize disruption to the community.
  3. Training and Support: Property staff and business owners were trained on managing and utilizing the new Wi-Fi systems effectively. Spot On Networks also provided ongoing support and maintenance to ensure continuous optimal performance.

Results

The results of Spot On Networks’ implementation were significant:

  • Enhanced Connectivity: Businesses and residents experienced vastly improved internet speed and reliability. This improvement was crucial for operations, remote work, and virtual events.
  • Increased Satisfaction: Positive feedback from both commercial tenants and residents highlighted the improved connectivity and customer support. The enhanced Wi-Fi infrastructure facilitated better business operations and enriched the living experience for residents.
  • Community Benefits: The cooperative model was strengthened by reliable Wi-Fi, enhancing the overall community experience. Common areas and amenity spaces saw increased use, fostering greater community interaction and engagement.

Client Testimonial

Andrew Lutz, Co-Executive Director of Common Grounds Cooperative, shared his experience:

“Spot-on, you know, worked with us to employ a cloud path sort of key technology that helped us meet so many of our different use cases when it came to accessible connectivity for the building. And it was that along with white spaces design of our access control scheme. Those two things put together were just huge for what I spoke about that we were designing for through the pandemic.”​

Conclusion

The partnership between Common Grounds Cooperative and Spot On Networks exemplifies how advanced connectivity solutions can empower community-driven initiatives. By providing reliable, high-speed internet and robust connectivity, Spot On Networks has helped Common Grounds create a dynamic and connected community space.

The impact of Spot On Networks’ solutions extends beyond just connectivity; it has helped Common Grounds Cooperative realize its vision of a vibrant, interactive, and engaged community. This success story serves as a testament to the power of innovative technological solutions in enhancing community living.

Are you ready to transform your property with reliable managed Wi-Fi solutions? Contact Spot On Networks today to learn how we can enhance your connectivity and support your community’s growth. Partner with us to create a connected, satisfied community that thrives on advanced technology and seamless connectivity.