Update: The news coming today at 9 a.m. is that digital textbook provider VitalSource Technology will be the first major tenant of 227 Fayetteville Street, according to the Triangle Business Journal. We haven't yet heard back from Industrious about its plans for Raleigh.
A mysterious email landed in my box today from public relations specialist Jennifer Gardner on behalf of 227 Fayetteville Street, the building notorious for holding a January 2013 Innovate Raleigh event and announcing its plans to become a hub of tech companies and startups.
The building's owner, along with Empire Properties exec Ben Steel, plans to make an announcement at 9 a.m. tomorrow that "will bring new vitality to downtown."
The rumor mill led me to a Chicago group called Industrious
, which operates in the Windy City and will soon open co-working spaces in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Austin, Brooklyn, Nashville and St. Louis. Surely enough, its website names Raleigh as a location coming in early December.
But Gardner has since confirmed that Industrious is not involved in tomorrow's announcement.
I've reached out to Industrious to find out its plans and will report back when I get a reply. The company bills itself as a flexible new office space for small businesses, startups and freelancers, with private offices for companies of one to 10 employees as well as a coffee bar, concierge service, collaboration, relaxation and conference rooms and nightly workshops and events. There's no long term lease required.
Coworking is growing in popularity in the Triangle region, with HQ Raleigh's mega expansion
earlier this year and two additional American Underground locations opened within the last 15 months. The Underground plans to double its footprint on Main Street in Durham early next year, and Bull City Coworking in Durham expects to add 50 additional coworkers. RTP also has plans for startup space on its campus.
HQ has a waiting list for its private suites, says executive director Jason Widen. American Underground, which is owned by ExitEvent parent company Capitol Broadcasting Company, is about 80 percent pre-leased for the expansion in Durham, and is in active discussions with 10 companies on its wait list. There are also 10 companies on the wait list for offices in downtown Raleigh.
If Industrious or some other coworking space does open in Raleigh, American Underground chief strategist Adam Klein welcomes it.
"It's evidence of the Triangle's success as a startup hub," he says, following with, "The key to our efforts has been—and will remain—fostering a unique ecosystem packed with 170 startups, accelerator programs and venture capital offices. We will remain focused on providing affordable and easy access to that ecosystem."
New York-based LRC Opportunity Fund bought a vacant 11-story 227 Fayetteville Street in December 2012. The video above visualized its plans for the property and an $8.1 million renovation has been underway with an early 2015 completion date. An event venue called the StockRoom at 230 has already opened in the space.
Stay tuned for updates to this story.