CLEVELAND, Ohio – Construction on a project in the Hingetown area of ââOhio City is underway that will transform what was once a well-known nightclub for LGBTQ + into a co-working space run by a startup based in the Columbus area.
COhatch plans to complete the renovations and open the building in the 2800 block of Detroit Avenue by April 2021. Inside, more than 30 private offices, meeting rooms, event space and podcast rooms. The space will also have a restaurant.
CEO Matt Davis describes the space near the West Side, as well as other spaces the company owns in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Indianapolis as “partly a co-working space, partly a country club, in part timeshare, part of a chamber of commerce, all mixed into one. âMembers pay a fee to use the space and various amenities, including the use of the spaces for events.
The company, founded in 2016, plans to expand aggressively in the coming years, including adding locations in Cleveland as demand for office space potentially declines.
In Ohio City, the building is the former home of Bounce Nightclub, a well-known bar that catered to the LGBTQ + community that hosted drag shows and other events.
The club opened in 2001 and closed in 2017. It was the last several bar to close along a stretch of Detroit Avenue between Ohio City and Gordon Square that catered to the LGBTQ + community.
COhatch bought the space in August for $ 2.05 million from Rico Pietro. Davis, who lives in the Columbus area but is from northeast Ohio, said about 80% of the properties he buys are for building renovations in established pedestrian neighborhoods.
âI think people like to watch things being reused,â Davis said, adding that the designers were planning to add local references throughout the building. âThey feel better about it. They appreciate the experience better. And that’s what we plan to do with Ohio City.
The project is one of many projects underway in the city of Ohio, particularly in the bustling section of the Hingetown neighborhood, which is home to the Saucy Brew Works and other developments. Across Detroit Avenue is the Church + State Building, a 158-unit apartment complex developed by Graham Veysey, his wife Marika Shioiri-Clark and his partner Michael Panzica. On the left, there are more apartments, with more work going on.
Veysey and Shioiri-Clark also planned a set of metal structures that could serve as a small artistic enclave, as interiors can be renovated for workspaces.
Davis said the company was responding to a business trend – getting rid of office space and allowing employees to work remotely. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, which forced companies to make their employees work from home, many companies have already chosen to give up all or part of their sales offices.
That’s where COhatch comes in, explained the founder. He said business rose and fell in 2020, with many small businesses choosing to cede their space with COhatch due to budget concerns. At the same time, some large companies have chosen to register.
âAnyone who says ‘I’m always going to go back to the office’ underestimates the employee’s power to choose what they want to do in the future,â Davis said, explaining that he sees companies using a hybrid computer. ‘have employees work from home and use offices in the future. âAnyone who says ‘you have to work from home’ doesn’t really take culture, innovation, even personality profiles into consideration. “
Tom McNair, executive director of Ohio City Inc., said he sees coworking spaces growing in popularity and benefiting the area served by the community development company he runs. This makes places like Hingetown viable for business, as it is an area with homes, restaurants, and a grocery store nearby. Beauty Shoppe, another coworking space, is near COhatch on Detroit Avenue, while Limelight is also in Ohio City.
âWe are trying to understand the impacts that are coming from the COVID pandemic,â McNair said. âI don’t think we’ve learned all the lessons, but clearly there will be changes in the office market. “
As the Ohio City space opens, Davis said he expects offices to be about 60 percent full.
He said COhatch will soon announce a location in the Eastern Suburbs – not in Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, as previously announced – and that the company is targeting other parts of the Cleveland area as well.
âThe biggest thing we’re trying to do in Cleveland is to replicate as best we can what we’re doing in Columbus,â Davis said. âSo 10 to 15+ locations in Cleveland. “