Downtown Lee’s Summit officially joins the coworking movement with the Wednesday opening of Bridge Space, a 14,000-square foot redevelopment of the city’s historic U.S. Post Office.
Bridge Space includes 34 private offices, 12 dedicated desks, 6 state-of-the-art conference rooms, and 3,000-square feet of open coworking space, as well as a 2,000-square foot event space with mezzanine and balcony.
Longtime Downtown Lee’s Summit resident and serial entrepreneur Ben Rao led and championed the redevelopment effort, which involved the arduous process of securing a spot on the national historic registry.
“This entire project for me was very personal and very intentional,” Rao said. “I wanted to exploit the walkability of Downtown Lee’s Summit. There’s a real quality of life here.”
Rao envisioned a startup facility that would attract economic development in Lee’s Summit by encouraging companies to incubate businesses in their hometown. It’s a concept that Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President Rick McDowell agreed is much needed.
“A coworking facility like Bridge Space has been a desire of Lee’s Summit for some time,” McDowell said. “The LSEDC looks forward to helping entrepreneurs who may get started in Bridge Space grow their businesses and increase their capital investment and workforce in Lee’s Summit.”
The Bridge Space redevelopment was made possible through state and national historic tax credits, as well as $200,000 in city incentives granted through the LCRA (Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority.)
“This is really an economic development play- completely- to the point that I’m getting calls from other cities. They want to talk about how we did this in Downtown Lee’s Summit,” Rao said.
Bridge Space amenities include a member lounge, large kitchen, café area with free coffee for members. Conference rooms are loaded with 55-inch 4K TVs and multiple hardwire and internet connections.
More than 500 people registered in advance to attend Bridge Space’s grand opening Wednesday night.