A still-in-the-works coworking space already is inspiring economic development north of the river, said Bob Martin, partner at iWerx, bolstered this week by a Keystone Award for business impact.
“Before even opening our doors in Gladstone, we had commitments for nearly 30 percent of the more than 75 offices,” Martin said ahead of the entrepreneurial development center’s Jan. 1 soft opening. “The need for small business resources knows no geographic boundaries.”
The two-story, 32,000-square-foot iWerx-Gladstone space — originally built as a racquetball club and renovated into a traditional office building in the mid 1980s — will be home to dozens of offices, a quadrant of retail opportunities, and eight community rooms, Martin said. The 7001 N. Locust Dr. location will be the first dedicated coworking space and business incubator in Gladstone, he said.
Clay County Economic Development Council officials this week awarded iWerx-Gladstone and 11 other public projects Keystone Awards for their efforts to make Clay County a better place to live and work, according to the organization.
Potential for job growth was specifically cited among iWerx-Gladstone’s qualifiers for the award.
“It reinforces our direction,” Martin said. “As the award is presented by the Clay County Economic Development Council, a body with a broad purview of businesses throughout Clay County, it speaks volumes to our intentions of helping small businesses grow. We’re grateful for the recognition.”
iWerx’s new project wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiastic support of the cities of Gladstone and North Kansas City, he added.
“These two municipalities understand the importance of organic business development and the role they can play as facilitator and not adversary,” Martin said. “Both deserve the credit they’ve earned by association with each or our two respective Keystone Awards now (2016, 2018).”
Other award winners this week ran the gamut from Dubious Claims Brewing Company in Excelsior Springs to Cerner’s Experience Center in North Kansas City.