For nearly 80 years, the Masin family sold couches, tables and other fine-furniture from its Pioneer Square location. But now — following the closure of the store last fall — a new type of entrepreneurial undertaking is coming to the quirky space at 220 Second Avenue South.
The Center for Impact and Innovation — a newly-formed joint venture of HUB Seattle, Bainbridge Graduate Institute and Social Venture Partners — are splitting the 30,000 square-foot building, GeekWire has learned. In addition to the main space, the organizations have secured an option for about 8,000 square-feet of additional basement space that could house a health club or more co-working offices. They are saying the new space will represent one of the “largest concentrations of social entrepreneurs in the country.”
A newly-formed business incubator and co-working space, HUB Seattle specializes in cultivating socially-conscious entrepreneurial ventures. Meanwhile, Bainbridge Graduate Institute is a 10-year-old educational institution that offers a MBA in sustainable business and certificate programs. Together, they will make up the Center for Impact and Innovation, bringing together students and entrepreneurs who want to bring about change.
HUB Seattle anticipates housing more than a dozen businesses in the building over time, with entrepreneurs sharing amenities and choosing from an assortment of work spaces. Bainbridge Graduate Institute will use the space for its courses, which include titles such as Intrapreneurship & Entrepreneurship; Management in a Changing World; and Social Media for Social Change.
“Entrepreneurs, nonprofit innovators, and creative people of all kinds are all-too-often isolated from one another while pursuing their plans to make the world a better place,” said Will Poole, an entrepreneur and former Microsoft executive who has been helping to lead the charge on the new facility. “The Center for Impact and Innovation will bring them together, under one big, newly refinished, roof in a beautiful and creative space. And better yet, we’ll have the widest cross-section of world-changers anywhere.”
In addition to BGI, Social Venture Partners and HUB Seattle, Unitus Seed Fund, Ashoka and Zealyst will operate from the space. Other socially-conscious entrepreneurial organizations are eyeing the new building.
Described as a space “for purpose-driven changemakers,” HUB Seattle has about 300 members. Prices for the co-working space currently range from $35 per month — which includes discounts to HUB events and two days of access per month — to more than $295 per month — which includes a 24/7 keycard, free access to event and other amenities.
The new space in the old Masins Furniture building includes private offices and large co-working spaces, as well as common areas that will be used by both HUB Seattle and BGI. The groups plan to beging moving into the space this fall.
Pioneer Square remains one of the primary hubs of the Seattle technology community. Last year, Zynga moved into the historic Washington Shoe Building, while EMC/Isilon relocated its expanding staff to nearby digs on 1st Avenue South. A number of startup companies, including Yapta, PayScale, Sidecar, SpaceCurve and many others, call Pioneer Square home.
Attracted by historic brick buildings, small office footprints and newly-created high-speed Internet service along 1st Avenue, Pioneer Square continues to transform itself from battered nightlife district to an urban entrepreneurial hub.