Two years after launching its sprawling flagship site in North Kansas City, a premiere coworking community is expected to debut iWerx Gladstone in late fall.
The two-story, 32,000-square-foot space — originally built as a racquetball club and renovated into a traditional office building in the mid 1980s — will be home to about 80 offices, a quadrant of retail opportunities, and eight community rooms, said iWerx partner Bob Martin. The 7001 N. Locust Dr. location will be the first dedicated coworking space and business incubator in Gladstone, he said.
“We’ve been interested in growing facilities to the north of us for the better part of the last year,” said Martin. “Gladstone materialized when the city came to us with an opportunity that made sense for our model and promises to advance our mission to spur more innovation, given its location and interested partners.”
iWerx Gladstone, with financial support via Missouri Chapter 100 Bonds, and in partnership with the City of Gladstone, will house the Clay County Economic Development Company’s offices, its sponsored business incubator, and the Northland Angel Investment Network.
“This is an incredible opportunity to expand on our burgeoning small-business community housed at iWerx, ” said Robert L. Curland, iWerx managing partner.
It’s all part of iWerx ongoing strategy to expand its brand of modern coworking, Martin said.
“We should expect to see more iWerx operations open — both standalone properties and with partners to support an entrepreneurial ecosystem — in the next couple of years, largely to the north of KCMO,” Martin said.
iWerx Gladstone joins the original North Kansas City location, as well as the new designWerx space a few blocks away.
When iWerx opened its first site in November 2016, it was the biggest coworking space in the metro at 33,000 square feet. Less than a year later, Plexpod Westport Commons and WeWork joined the scene, offering even bigger spaces in neighborhoods south of the river.
Yet iWerx remains a vital part of the startup ecosystem, said Dave Palmstein, managing partner of Birch Creek Capital, which manages the Northland Angel Investor Network.
From iWerx Gladstone, Birch Creek will have solid footing to advance its work, providing a six-phase development program for its portfolio companies to achieve their goals from idea to exit, he said.
“Our first two phases are similar to most incubators and accelerators. We then provide significant assistance building out infrastructure (Phase 3), expanding their sales and operations for Phase 4 (growth) and then replication/expansion in Phase 5,” Palmstein said. “Finally, Phase 6 is an exit for investors.”
The hands-on approach continues with Birch Creek then raising capital for the companies, he said.
“We follow this process for each portfolio company and having them physically near us at iWerx helps us facilitate communications and phased applications,” Palmstein said. “Although we are not quite ready to notify announce them, we are within 90 days of making major press releases regarding our expansion activities and how our portfolio companies will be involved. iWerx will house a number of these companies.”
Reservations are now being accepted for offices and memberships at iWerx Gladstone. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org