Riverside is looking to set up a new space for business collaboration in one of its office buildings.

The city hopes to renovate 10,000 square feet of office space at its Wright Point II building. The project, which it estimates at $210,000, would transform the space into the “Riverside Business Development Center.” It would be a “creative open office layout designed to encourage interactions between its occupants,” with a focus on collaboration.

The project would be a collaboration with the Entrepreneur Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute. The city will seek $150,000 in Montgomery County economic development, or ED/GE funds to support the project.

Among the improvements of the space would have wide open common areas for interaction as well as spaces for individual work. In documents, Riverside hopes it is a physical element to the Accelerant network, developed by the Dayton Development Coalition to foster the startup scene in the western Ohio region.

“RBDC is unique in that it combines the efforts of two distinct economic development organizations having very different targets under one roof,” according to an application to the county from Riverside. “The combining of the start-up and early-stage companies of the DEC with the more established national and international business being served by the OAI will create a collaborative environment beneficial to both.”

Riverside will offer the space to RBDC at cost, and the RBDC will then be able to collect rents. The application likens the space to a “halfway house” for Entrepreneur Center graduates that have a level of financial stability, which will allow the DEC to take on more clients. It will also be a space for national and international companies to establish co-locations in Dayton.

The city bought two buildings in the complex, at 5100 and 5200 Springfield St. last year for $2.6 million in an effort to refurbish them and increase their occupancy. Wright Point I and Wright Point II combine for about 164,000 square feet of space and the two buildings are about 50 percent occupied, said Bob Murray, director of planning and economic development for the city.

Last month, Riverside hired Colliers International to manage the buildings, where it hopes to increase occupancy especially with defense-related tenants serving nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Riverside, the Entrepreneur Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute will each front $20,000 for the center to balance out the ED/GE funds. The city hopes if it receives the ED/GE funding, it will be able to complete interior work in early 2015 and open for business in April 2015.

Published by Dayton Business Journal 11/5/2014