Thomas Rush, a Minnesota native and Florida State grad moved to New Orleans in 2008. After working with Greater New Orleans, Inc. for two years on green projects and water management strategy, he made the jump to running New Orleans’ first “social venture” workspace: HUB New Orleans. Tom is the Managing Director of HUB New Orleans, joking, “I’m the CEO and janitor of this project.”
Tom is far from being the only person involved in the opening of the space. HUB New Orleans is a project of Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans (SENO), who will run their social venture accelerator from the HUB, and Green Coast Enterprises.
Green Coast Enterprises, the company that actually owns the building and is partially financing the project, is a sustainable real estate development company. The facility, boasting an impressive two-stories and 10,000 square feet, is located at the corner of Washington & Broad streets in the Broadmoor neighborhood.
It will feature a variety of private offices, co-working spaces, and, “a shared manufacturing and prototyping space for social innovators.” Tom was most excited about the prototyping space that will include a workshop, tools, and pending-funding, a 3D printer. The space will also include conference space, a kitchen, and according to Andrea Chen, Co-Founder and Executive Director of SENO, change in the air.
“SENO is excited for the creative synergy and collaboration that will happen when like-minded people are working together in proximity to solve our city’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The HUB New Orleans project represents the tremendous growth and continued potential of social entrepreneurship since Hurricane Katrina,” noted Andrea.
As a sign of that collaboration, the building is expected to be the centerpiece of a renaissance to the somewhat blighted area, anchoring a one block radius that is in the works to include a Tulane Community Health Center, Laurel Street Bakery, the offices of Green Coast Enterprises, and Global Green.
Although HUB New Orleans is not part of the larger global HUB network of “sustainable impact” co-working spaces, it follows a similar model. Founded in London in 2005, the global Hub network includes over 25 open HUBs spanning from Los Angeles and New York to Stockholm and Dubai. Over 50 new global Hub network spaces are in the works and the parent organization is planning a global member conference to further connect the spaces and members.
The HUB New Orleans has already received letters of intent and arranged agreements with several tenants. The facility is on schedule to open its doors in August 2012. For leasing information, contact email@example.com.