Article originally posted by Phoenix Business Journal on July 14, 2020.
Launch Pad, a New Orleans-based coworking company, is opening its first Arizona location in downtown Mesa, the first direct investment into a business using the “opportunity zone” program for investment firm Caliber Cos.
Scottsdale-based Caliber owns the building where Launch Pad will lease 28,000 square feet of space that will be designed to have 67 individual offices, meeting room space and a coffee bar.
Caliber bought the building, located at 114 W. Main Street, along with several other nearby buildings for a total of $15 million and is investing $30 million into updating and renovating the buildings. The building where Launch Pad will be located is a refurbished J.J. Newberry department store building from 1949.
“By providing Launch Pad the investment we were able to bring a tenant into downtown Mesa,” Caliber CEO Chris Loeffler told the Business Journal, adding that Caliber is looking to expand its investments into other businesses in qualified opportunity zones, so even if another business does not have all the capital it needs to get up and running in downtown Mesa, Caliber might be able to provide an investment.
“We have a mission of making downtown Mesa unique,” Loeffler said.
Loeffler said Launch Pad’s location in Mesa is part of an expansion in the West Coast that will add a total of five locations. The coworking company is expected to occupy its Mesa space by the end of 2021. Caliber is the lead investor in Launch Pad’s Series A funding round.
“Coworking has become a critical activation of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in mid-sized markets across the country,” Anne Driscoll, co-founder and CEO of Launch Pad said in a statement. “In a post-Covid world, remote work will become the norm, creating a real need for community-focused coworking spaces.”
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