Bounce Innovation Hub will open its public first floor, with a coworking space and cafe, in May

by Rosalie Murphy

Bounce Innovation Hub will continue its transformation of a former B.F. Goodrich factory at the south end of downtown Akron in May, when the economic development nonprofit will open space to the public for the first time.

Until now, the nine-story building has housed only companies, who can rent space in the building and get access to business startup support services and coaching.

The ground floor will be known as “the Generator.” It will house a coffee shop and cafe, a coworking space, a makerspace and conference rooms, which anyone can use.

“We need to keep people from leaving, and part of it is that young university talent who are graduating — what can get them to stay?” said Mayor Dan Horrigan at a preview event Monday. “This is a great reason right here.”

Renderings for the Generator were released Monday. Nearly every aspect of the design by Hazel Tree Design Studios, from furniture to murals to the materials themselves, is Akron-based.

Facade: Parklet seating area by Dominic Falcione of Krunchworks Design+Build. Lighting installation on side of building by Power Media. Artwork by Jessica Loftus.

Cafe: Tabletops by Ed Lewis of Lewis Quality Interiors and John Wilkie of Revere Refinishing. The wood was sourced from the City of Akron Arborist, who says it came from a fallen black oak tree in Akron. End tables by Jason Horinger of Birchwood Supply Co. Mural by Lizzi Aronhalt.

Lounge: Coffee tables by Ed Lewis of Lewis Quality Interiors, John Wilkie of Revere Refinishing and Doug Meyer of Rustbelt Rebirth. Locally sourced black oak wood. Pillows by Jessica Skinner of JBurgess Designs. Murals by Matt Miller.

According to Jessica Melton, director of community and partnerships for Bounce, rates for the space will be:

  • Private offices starting at $500 per month
  • Reserved desks with 24/7 access to the space: $250 per month
  • 24/7 access to the space without a reserved desk: $150 per month
  • Day pass, which allows access from 8 am – 5 pm: $10, with possible bundling options available

Jessica says members will have access to free coffee, conference rooms, mailboxes, educational programming and perks like occasional on-site yoga. The coworking space will have room for 67 people, including eight private offices and 16 reserved desks.

Four conference rooms, with capacity ranging from five people to 30 people, and a 250-person event space will be available for public rentals.

Remarkable Coffee and Cafe will be managed by Dan Remark, founder of Magic City’s Remarkable Diner in Barberton and a former executive chef at the Mustard Seed Market and Cafe.

Bounce was formerly the Akron Accelerator, a city-owned and -operated economic development agency. Bounce spun off in January 2018 and is now an independent nonprofit. However, the city still owns the nine-story former B.F. Goodrich factory out of which Bounce operates.

Rosalie Murphy is Editor-in-Chief of The Devil Strip.