Fishers to buy $3.1M building for co-working program expansion

The city of Fishers is proposing to purchase a new building for its entrepreneurial co-working space that would triple the size of the facility.

Officials have been saying for months that Launch Fishers had hit capacity in its 16,000-square-foot space in the once-unused basement of the Hamilton East Public Library. The new location at 12175 Visionary Way would offer 51,571 square feet.

The city plans to buy the building, formerly used by Deca Financial Services LLC, for $3.1 million and lease it to Launch Fishers. Building improvements are estimated to cost $400,000.

Launch Fishers will continue to operate as it does now, selling memberships for the open co-working space and leasing designated office space for a premium.

The current facility includes a variety of desks, tables and chairs, a small shared kitchen, meeting rooms, a cafe, lockers, mailboxes and several treadmill desks. There are two private office spaces available now; the new building will offer at least 18.

As part of the expansion, the city will partner with Ball State University to create the Center for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. Ball State will lease 3,010 square feet in the new building and companies working from Launch will have access to university research, faculty and students.

When the collaborative office for entrepreneurs started in 2012, Launch Fishers CEO John Wechsler and other officials in Fishers were hopeful if they built the space, start-up companies would take advantage. There are 485 members of Launch Fishers now, and several businesses have success stories, like mobile-app developers Bluebridge Digital and Haven, which landed seven-figure venture capital deals last year.

Mayor Scott Fadness said the facility could move in July.

“I think this building will suit our needs for some time to come,” Fadness said. “We’ve got plenty of room for new members.”

The city has also submitted an application to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to designated the area surrounding the new Launch location as a Certified Technology Park. There are 24 official Certified Tech Parks throughout the state, including four in Indianapolis. The program allows cities to capture certain state and local tax revenue and use the funds to attract technology companies.

Fadness said it could allow the city to capture up to $5 million in new funds, which could offset the new building costs.

The Fishers City Council will consider the building purchase Monday.

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