Circle Tower co-working space adding to downtown options

The Level Office co-working space at Circle Tower is set to open later this month, adding to the growing number of options available to entrepreneurs and small companies not yet ready to commit to long-term leases or their own building.

Chicago-based Level Office in early January acquired the 14-story, art deco building at 55 Monument Circle from locally based Ambrose Property Group.

Level Office is dedicating the seventh floor, as well as part of the eighth floor and the entire 13th floor, to private offices for members. The company now is pre-leasing space on the two lower floors and will officially make them available for occupancy on June 29.

“This is a really big building for Level Office, so we were OK with starting with a small amount of space and going from there,” said Randi Dodson, the local center’s manager.

At the time of Level Office’s purchase, the 111,000-square-foot Circle Tower was 88 percent occupied. The company ultimately plans to devote 25 percent of the building to co-working space, with the first 8,600 square feet coming online this month.

Level Office is renovating the seventh floor, which was completely vacant, to convert it into 28 private offices and co-working space. Usage of the co-working space runs $99 per month, with private offices ranging from $450 to $3,200 per month, depending on an office’s location, proximity to the conference room and other factors warranting a higher rate.

More expensive offices overlook Monument Circle and offer pristine views of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Leases typically run 12 months.

Level Office is converting part of the eighth floor into a suite, with two private offices and a conference room that might be attractive to a small law practice or marketing firm, Dodson said.

In addition, the 13th floor will be divided into four separate office suites. Work will begin after the other two floors open later this month and should be finished in November.

All tenants have access to a kitchen, a conference room, and amenities such as an espresso bar, 500-megabits-per-second fiber internet, local beer on tap, and on-site administrative support.

Level Office has work spaces in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Seattle, as well as Jacksonville, Florida, and Alexandria, Virginia. All of its facilities are in downtown areas.

“We believe that the center of major metros downtown are urbanizing and revitalizing across the country and even the world,” said Bill Bennett, the company’s founder, upon buying Circle Tower in January. “And being central is advantageous. It gives you the broadest reach. And another major piece is that that’s where there are lots of cool, old buildings.”

Level Office did not release a purchase price at the time of the sale, but Marion County assessor records show the company paid $11.6 million, nearly twice the $6 million Ambrose spent to acquire Circle Tower in 2012.

Ambrose has its headquarters in the building, while a Starbucks, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Giorgio’s Pizza, among other tenants, occupy street-level retail spaces.

Level Office is among the growing number of co-working options sprouting in downtown Indianapolis. Catherine Esselman, real estate development manager, thinks more choices benefit companies searching for that type of space.

“There’s a spectrum that you can choose from if you want to take that next step,” she said. “Each one of these coming on the market offers something different.”

In February, New York-based Industrious announced that it inked a deal with Gershman Partners to take two floors in the developer’s new Marietta building on Massachusetts Avenue, bringing it near capacity.

Industrious will take floors two and three in the four-story structure at 350 Massachusetts Ave. next to the Marott Center, and plans to open in September.

The roughly 18,300-square-foot space at The Marietta will contain 70 to 80 private offices for companies of up to eight employees, as well as reserved co-working space.

Members will pay a flat monthly fee starting at $450 per person that includes the office space, outdoor terraces, unlimited printing, mail services, Internet, and conference rooms and services.

Users will have 24-hour access to the building, and leases will be as flexible as month-to-month, Industrious said.

Luxembourg-based Regus Group plc expanded its downtown presence in 2014 by taking more than 10,000 square feet on the third floor of Lockerbie Marketplace at 333 North Alabama St., where a Marsh supermarket anchors the ground level.

This is not the company’s first foray in Indianapolis, or downtown. Regus’ flex-type offices also can be found on the 16th floor of the Capital Center’s south tower, and in the north-side office parks of Keystone at the Crossing, Parkwood Crossing and the Precedent.

In addition, Regus has an office center in Fishers at 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., near East 96th Street and Interstate 69.

The third-floor space at Lockerbie Marketplace consists of 58 furnished offices ranging in size from 100 square feet to 200 square feet. Tenants are not locked into long-term leases and can walk away from an agreement at any time. Rates range from $99 for five days of usage per month to $350 for a month.

Also, the Speak Easy in October opened a new space downtown in the Morrison Opera Place building at 47 S. Meridian St. to focus on providing spaces for more mature startups.•

 

Originally published in the Indianapolis Business Journal