Last year, Michigan-based Kellogg Co. closed a snack factory on Louise Avenue that used to turn out Famous Amos and Austin Sandwich Creme cookies.
Now, part of the building is being revived as an arts- and community-focused co-working space. Advent Coworking plans to open by the end of October, offering entrepreneurs and small businesses workspace for rent in the refurbished industrial building. The building will also host regular art shows and have space for both tenants and community members to hold events.
“Community is our core,” said co-founder Kevin Giriunas, who started Advent with business partner Ryan Mitchell. The company is in the midst of renovations on the 5,000-square-foot portion of the factory that it’s using. Advent has a lease for its portion of the former factory, and hopes to expand to fill more space at the site.
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Co-working, in which people pay a monthly fee to use shared space as a workplace, appears to be gaining ground in Charlotte. Level Office opened this month in an 85-year-old building uptown that used to be a Ford dealership. And Industry Inc. has expanded its co-working space at the NC Music Factory.
At Advent, the main co-working space will consist of custom-made wood-and-metal tables with a mid-century modern style. Giriunas said Advent is going for an “industrial-cozy” vibe, a seeming contradiction in terms that he smiles at and acknowledges.
Space at Advent costs $149 a month. Members will have access to the office 24/7, using their phones and Bluetooth-connected door locks. There will be phone booths for long or private calls, as well as conference rooms for client and team meetings /and/ a separate event space that will host art shows and other gatherings. Members will get use of the conference rooms and event space for up to five hours a month at no additional charge.
Other perks include discounted coffee and beer on tap, free yoga classes, an outdoor patio and free bike rentals. A fully equipped studio for producing podcasts will be on-site as well.
Giriunas said 20 founding members have signed on so far, agreeing to rent space and helping to plan and design Advent. Tenants so far represent a wide range of professions, including information technology workers, consultants, lifestyle bloggers and attorneys, Giriunas said.