An Ohio-based startup that describes itself as a social enterprise providing work, social and family space is planning to open its second central Indiana location. COhatch, which will open its first location in Noblesville later this month, says it plans to renovate and restore Trinity Church in the Broad Ripple neighborhood in Indianapolis for its next coworking, event, and community space. The startup plans to eventually have 10 sites in the greater Indianapolis area.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, COhatch founder and Chief Executive Officer Matt Davis said the Broad Ripple area is attractive for several reasons.
“First, the town and the area is just a great place to be. I love building spaces where you want to be…but the hard thing with Broad Ripple is that everyone wants to be there and it’s hard to get a certain size of space,” said Davis. “We love architecture and restoration and with this Trinity Church location…they were selling the building because their model is changing. I love the architecture, but I wanted to create a new center of gravity for Broad Ripple and (the church) gave us an 18,000-square-foot footprint to do it in.”
COhatch says it acquired the Trinity Church building near 61st Street and Central Avenue earlier this year. The startup plans to develop more than 18,000 square feet to include dedicated collaboration space for small, medium and large businesses, as well as private offices, coworking areas, meeting rooms, indoor and outdoor event space, and fully-equipped podcast rooms.
The new Broad Ripple location, according to COhatch, will have dedicated desks, game areas and family-friendly event spaces. The startup says the meeting and event spaces will be available to the community and could be used for off-site company meetings and other life events.
“We foresee space being used differently moving forward as organizations adjust to the pandemic, many changing their office setups in the process,” Davis said in a news release. “We are receiving requests for large offices and coworking memberships, with businesses offering their employees flexible spaces at a time when adaptability is key. We are also seeing a significant increase in demand from larger companies wanting a decentralized suburban work solution for teams finding working from home and a downtown commute difficult.”
Davis says the eventual goal with all of the Indianapolis locations is to create a community-building ecosystem.
“We look at giving scholarships to nonprofits, fostering the creative community, looking at entrepreneurs, looking at larger corporations, which we’re seeing a lot of right now as they shed downtown real estate into one system. We start to build something that’s unique to that culture of that town and then we start to link it together with other towns and communities.”
The Broad Ripple location will bring the number of COhatch spaces to 17 throughout the Midwest. In July 2019, the startup announced plans to set up shop at the Hamilton Towne Center in Noblesville. Davis says the response to the Noblesville location has been great.
“It’s hard to understand all the things that COhatch is until we get a little closer to being built out. So right now, people would walk in and see the whole vision for what we’re building. We’ve probably sold out most of our facilities before we even opened; it’s a little bit more of a challenge during a pandemic but I think we’re still shooting for the first 60 days of being full inside of new locations.”
The 7,000-square-foot Noblesville location is set to open by the end of the month.
Davis says the Broad Ripple area was attractive for several reasons.