New Center for Impact and Innovation inks lease at Pioneer Square’s historic Masins furniture building

The old Masins Furniture building is the new home of the The Center for Impact and Innovation

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.”

Inside the Center for Impact and Innovation

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.

Will Poole

“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.

Previously on GeekWireSeattle’s Pioneer Square has tech, needs tribe

  • Naysawn

    Congratulations! This is great news for the Seattle social entrepreneur community!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonny-Miller/508117686 Jonny Miller

    Awesome! Look forward to checking it out in a few weeks…

  • http://twitter.com/DaveParkerSEA Dave Parker

    Congrats… Will. Great location and great opportunity for startups.

  • http://www.bgi.edu/ Bainbridge Graduate Institute

    Thanks for helping us break the good news. We’re so excited for this new partnership.

  • Pioneer Square Vet

    What a great space! Great to see it used to support entrepreneurship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wpoole8 Will Poole

    John, thanks for the nice write up on our new digs. The teams at Hub Seattle, Social Venture Partners and Bainbridge Graduate Institute are all anxious to move in and connect with the community in this amazing new space. Stay tuned for lots more, starting in September.

  • ChuksOnwuneme

    Awesome facility, awesome location, awesome people involved. Beginning of good things to come for the social entrepreneur community.

  • http://leifutne.com Leif Utne

    I toured this spectacular space today. I can’t wait for it to open — a common, collaborative space for innovators working for the common good. Every city should have one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomleung Tom Leung

    We also looked at a bunch of areas for our first office but were drawn to the soul, character, and personality of Pioneer Square. Great to see this awesome project add even more to the neighborhood!

  • donalddesantis

    Congrats to the HUB, SVP, and BGI!

  • http://twitter.com/lunarmobiscuit Michael ‘Luni’ Libes

    The Center for Impact and Innovation, and the epicenter where the world of business changes for good :)

  • john@nargislibrary.org

    What a wonderful operation. Every NGO entrepreneur and beginning capitalist should have such a base. Thanks for your courage and imagination.

  • DW

    Is HTC still moving to Pioneer Square?

    • johnhcook

      I was just wondering about that the other day. I’ve not heard anything more about the initial reports, which we noted here.

      http://www.geekwire.com/2011/exclusive-htc-prowl-big-chunk-space-seattle/

      They do already have a small office in P. Square, but we were hearing that they were looking for a big chunk of space. Let me circle on that one and see if I find anything more.

  • John Talabot

    Do I have to submit my code to HUB Seattle for them to verify that it is “socially conscious” or can I just pay my $295 and develop any type of time-wasting game or enterprise app I like?

    • Kcapizzi

      You probably could, but you probably just wouldn’t fit in much. Co-working space is open to anyone, but I’m guessing you’d probably self-select out. I’m also guessing you were looking for more of angry answer with the trolling question…

  • http://twitter.com/BlaineMillet BlaineMillet

    It’s great to see a center (hope there are more) open up that is focused on creativity and innovation for either starting or growing businesses – we would love to share some of your content and processes for creating cultures of innovation with our CEOtoCEO Innovation Teams…could be a great experience for both groups!