Steve Johnson, CEO of Impact Hub Seattle, told GeekWire that the organization had an expiring lease and Sound Transit got the city-owned building at 555 116th Ave. N.E. through eminent domain. Sound Transit will take control of it March 15. Impact Hub will throw a party for its members Feb. 27, and then they will move out the following day.
Impact Hub has been in talks with the city of Bellevue for months about another location at an adjacent building, but Johnson said the site didn’t work for the organization.
“The adjacent site we were considering did not allow us to provide the quality experience we were seeking,” Johnson said. “It is an aging building owned by the city of Bellevue without plans to maintain it. It would have also been next to the light rail construction with all the challenges that presents.”
Johnson said he helped negotiate discounted offers for Impact Hub members at other nearby co-working and accelerator spaces like WeWork — which is opening a big new Bellevue office — CoworkBox and ExtraSlice.
Impact Hub has more than 80 locations in five regions around the world, and another 26 locations under development. In total, it has more than 15,000 members. The company has a location in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Johnson said Impact Hub is more than a co-working space. Its goal is to be a “center for social innovation,” where markets work to solve problems, Johnson said. The organization will continue to focus on programming at its Seattle location and will “take a step back with a more strategic decision about affiliated offices,” Johnson said.