The business group managing The Union 525 tech hub in downtown Indianapolis is adding to the campus. John Hurley, managing partner of The Union 525, tells Inside INdiana Business plans are moving forward to build a new, $10 million building designed to accommodate the city’s growing tech scene. Hurley, who is also the chief executive officer of SmartFile, says The Union 601 will be a six-story, 67,000-square-foot facility that will have a similar open concept feel as its sister building and will help meet an ever-present demand for space.
"There’s two sides to that demand," said Hurley. "We have a very high internal demand. We were very fortunate to get some really high-growth companies – Scale Computing, Greenlight Guru, Springbuk – that have just exploded over the last two years. They continue to have a need for a lot more space, so we feel like, just within the tenants that we currently have, that we see opportunity there. Then, just the waiting list that we have, we show The Union 525 two or three times a week. We have about a six month waiting list for Startup Alley, which is the smaller offices. So we see just a tremendous pent up demand in the tech space."
The new building will be located at 601 S. Meridian Street in the city’s downtown. Hurley says they are on track to break ground on the project in August after finishing up environmental work on the property.
Hurley says need for The Union 601 is indicative of the expanding tech sector in Indianapolis.
"When you look at tech in general, it’s all about head count; it’s about talent," said Hurley. "If those companies continue to grow, they’re not adding assembly lines. They’re adding people and desks and when you look at what’s going on at The Union 525, it’s just one of those properties in Indianapolis being able to see that demand first hand has been incredible."
The new building will actually be the third on the campus. Hurley says the owners last year acquired the 30,000-square-foot Harley Davidson building just south of The Union 525. The three-story building already has two tenants on the ground level and Hurley says discussions are ongoing on plans for the second and third floors, which could include residential or office space.
The Union 525 opened in 2016 in the historic building that previously housed Emmerich Manual High School, and later, Harry E Wood High School. Hurley says tenants of the new building will be part of the Union family and have shared access to the amenities at the 525 location.
Hurley says The Union 601 will help meet an ever-present demand for space.