The local spot for innovators and startups is rebranding its co-working segment as HQ Charlotte at Packard Place, organizers announced Friday.
HQ Charlotte will join two other networks – Raleigh’s, and HQ Greensboro – for a combined membership base of more than 300 startups.
Packard Place, the renovated 1928 building on South Church Street with the abstract black-and-white paint job on an exterior wall, opened as an entrepreneurship hub in 2011. The uptown building will now see up to $1 million in renovations in a combined investment from HQ and Packard Place, co-founder Dan Roselli said.
He declined to disclose further terms, but said “there will be some revenue sharing between HQ and Packard Place.”
Roselli said an advantage to the new partnership is that the HQ umbrella will manage the 88,993-square-foot building. And that, he said, will give him more time to work on developing fast-growth businesses through the hub’s national incubator and global accelerator programs, including QCFinTech and RevTech Labs.
“It gets (building management) off my plate, which allows me to focus on what I’m really passionate about,” he said.
Roselli said he and his wife, co-founder Sara Garces Roselli, still retain ownership of the building, and their plan is to continue to do that. A company they control bought the building in 2010 for $3.3 million, according to property records.
HQ Charlotte’s launch comes at time when co-working is booming in Charlotte. The city has at least seven locations, all designed to be affordable, shared workspace options for members who want to work in an office setting but don’t want to lease expensive space. Places include amenities like kitchens, Wi-Fi, coffee and/or beer, and meeting rooms. Members typically pay a monthly fee.
With three of the state’s biggest metro areas in the HQ network, the state’s entrepreneurs get a significant competitive advantage, Roselli said. Plans are already in the works for Packard’s accelerator class to visit HQ Raleigh for a couple of days. Having access to a broader entrepreneurial community helps the state compete against other areas, like New York and Silicon Valley, he said.
Christopher Gergen, founding partner of HQ, said in a statement the network will help “catalyze community and economic development and position our state as a true hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Plans include redesigning Packard Place’ current co-working space to look like HQ Raleigh, which mixes historic and modern design, and includes features like open spaces and furniture that enables flexibility and collaboration. The mix of office and flexible work spaces is still being designed.
A soft opening is planned for Feb. 18. Most of the redesign is expected to be finished by early spring, according to organizers.
Organizers say this is the first time North Carolina has seen a private partnership create a network of entrepreneurial communities.
Through the network, members will be able to work in any location, and potentially tap a greater network of potential investors, connections and talent, organizers say.
HQ Charlotte is currently accepting membership applications at http://hq.community/.