National coworking space operator Novel Coworking has acquired the building at 790 N. Milwaukee St., where it plans to open a coworking space this fall.
Based in Chicago, Novel has 32 coworking locations around the country. The Milwaukee coworking spot, near Cathedral Square, would be the company’s second Wisconsin location. It has a Madison office at 345 W. Washington Ave. that is set to open in June.
An LLC affiliated with Novel paid $3.2 million for the property, which it purchased from Kennedy II Associates LP, according to state real estate records. The transaction took place April 30.
The building, constructed in 1986, is assessed at $2.8 million. It is 69,891 square feet.
Novel plans to renovate the space with infrastructure improvements and custom suites, and lease all six floors of the building in a mix of private offices, "SmartSuites" and coworking memberships, Novel said in a press release. SmartSuites have both private offices and collaborative spaces, and are outfitted with tech upgrades such as an Alexa-enabled sound system and a biometric keypad entry system.
At its coworking spaces, Novel provides members with 24/7 building access, direct fiber internet, an espresso bar, local beer on tap and community events. Targeted to entrepreneurs and small businesses, its memberships range from $129 to $225 per employee per month, the company said.
“With our location in Madison opening this June, we’re excited to further our offerings in Wisconsin for entrepreneurs and small business owners as well as enterprise companies,” said Bill Bennett, founder of Novel Coworking, in a statement. “We are drawn by Milwaukee’s supportive environment for small business. The city’s strong growth in recent years, particularly in the East Town area, makes it the perfect place for Novel Coworking to serve a diverse mix of entrepreneurs and business owners.”
Several national and local coworking operators have been expanding in southeastern Wisconsin in recent months. Spaces, a subsidiary of Jersey, Luxembourg-based Workplace International Group plc, opened a 43,000-square-foot coworking space at 1433 N. Water St. in Milwaukee last fall. Louisville, Colorado-based franchisor Office Evolution plans to open seven to 10 locations in the Milwaukee market.
Last year, Phelan Development opened Work Lofts on Milwaukee’s East Side, Oasis opened in the Global Water Center and The O coworking space opened in Kenosha’s former Orpheum Theater.
Shorewood’s female coworking space MalamaDoe has been expanding to meet demand, and The Hive in downtown Milwaukee plans to open a second downtown location in June.