COCO, the co-working space firm with its flagship location at the Grain Exchange building in downtown Minneapolis, is expanding to Chicago.
The firm will announce Monday that it has acquired Enerspace Chicago, a co-working space in Chicago’s West Loop that COCO’s chief executive and co-founder Kyle Coolbroth described as a longtime ally. Terms were not disclosed.
The co-working space in a growing tech cluster just west of downtown Chicago, a couple of blocks from Google’s Chicago office, will become COCO’s fifth location.
“We see Chicago as a vital hub of entrepreneurship, and this acquisition allows us to create greater opportunities for the small business and entrepreneurial communities in these cities,” Coolbroth said. “Many of our members travel there; they work back and forth.”
The firm has long mulled expansion to other cities, with ambitions for creating a network of collaborative spaces where entrepreneurs pay a monthly fee for various levels of access. A membership with 24/7 access to the downtown Minneapolis location, plus business hours access to the other COCO locations, costs $365 per month. Several other packages are available.
COCO opened a location in northeast Minneapolis last year, adding to its open office spaces in Uptown and St. Paul. That move came not long after COCO closed its space in Fargo, N.D., citing lack of demand.
Coolbroth wouldn’t say where else the firm is looking to grow after Chicago, but said growth is on the agenda and markets similar to or larger than the Twin Cities are what they’re looking for.
“We definitely intend to grow in the mid-future,” he said. “We want to find communities that are similar to ours, that have the same ethos, the same culture that we have.”
COCO’s roughly 1,000 Twin Cities members can visit, work and share resources at the Chicago location, and vice versa. The Chicago location has about 50 members but is a “very active space,” Coolbroth said.
Enerspace was founded in 2012 by Jamie Russo in Chicago, and it expanded to Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013, where it now has headquarters. Russo will be an adviser for COCO.