Garrett Tichy in Hygge, one of the new coworking spaces in Charlotte which he co-founded. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com
Garrett Tichy in Hygge, one of the new coworking spaces in Charlotte which he co-founded. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Development

What’s new in commercial and residential real estate in the Charlotte region.

Development

New, communal office space just north of uptown will add to the area’s transformation

April 21, 2017 06:00 AM

UPDATED April 21, 2017 06:00 AM

A Charlotte co-working company has agreed to lease space for its third location in a major new project planned for the North End, the latest step in a wave of redevelopment that’s reshaping the area.

Hygge (that’s pronounced hoo-gah), has leased about 10,000 square feet in Camp North End, a development that’s repurposing a 75-acre former munitions dump, Ford factory, missile assembly plant and Rite Aid distribution center just north of uptown. Hygge will be located on the ground floor at 1776 Statesville Avenue, the former Rite-Aid facility.

Garrett Tichy, Hygge’s owner, said the space will include more than 20 offices, meeting spaces for tenants, Wi-Fi and locally roasted coffee from HEX Coffee (local coffee being a staple of co-working places). The space is planned to open this summer, and will add another location to Hygge’s portfolio, which includes Third Ward and West Charlotte, near uptown.

“The Camp North End project is so much about preserving history and repurposing the space in a way that brings value to the community, which is very exciting,” said Tichy, in a statement. “This is more than just office space. Hygge aspires to be a co-working space that is a partner in the North End.”

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Not familiar with co-working? It’s a communal office space concept, marketed largely at entrepreneurs and small businesses but increasingly embraced by big companies, in which people pay a monthly membership fee for access to the space. Typically, communal space (which includes any available desk and all the amenities) costs $100 to $200 a month, with increasing fees for a dedicated desk or office. Small businesses and entrepreneurs get the benefits of flexibility and not having to go to a coffee shop to leave their home. Hygge’s base membership starts at $124 per month.

There’s been a sharp rise in the number of co-working locations in Charlotte over the past three years, with a dozen springing up in and around uptown. Bigger, national operators have moved into the market, with WeWork and Industrious signing leases for Charlotte locations in uptown office towers, adding momentum to the burgeoning movement.

ATCO Properties & Management bought the Camp North End site for $13.5 million last year. The site’s history as an industrial area dates to 1924, when the Ford company opened a car factory there. The company is planning a years-long adaptive reuse of the site, which could eventually include 1,500 new apartments, a hotel, 200,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and up to 1.5 million square feet of office space. Charlotte City Council is considering a rezoning petition for the site, which it will vote on in the coming months.

Hercules Industrial Park, to be redeveloped as part of Camp North End.
John D. Simmons

“Co-working has been transformative in terms of how people do business both locally and nationally, and we’re thrilled that Hygge is partnering with us at Camp North End,” said Damon Hemmerdinger, co-president of ATCO. Tamara LaValla of BatchCraft, who designed Hygge’s other two spaces, will design this one as well.

Hemmerdinger told the Observer that Hygge fits with their vision for what the area could become.

“One of our goals is to bring vibrant business people from all parts of the Charlotte geography and economy on site,” he said. “I think co-working, when done well, is the avenue for emerging businesses and start-ups and nonprofit groups.”

ATCO has recently signed two other tenants: Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas and nonprofit arts venue Goodyear Arts.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo