Tech Hub, downtown grocery/deli on horizon
February 27, 2014
The Hub business incubator is a month away from arriving and a downtown grocery/deli combination is on the horizon after that, a business breakfast audience learned Wednesday in Carson City.
Miya MacKenzie of MacWest Marketing, speaking for the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation, said The Hub incubator at 222 N. Carson St. has reached the final stages of conversion from the former Stewart Title Co. building, is prompting entrepreneurial buzz, will feature individual and collaborative office space, will be fiber-ready for technology startups, and will have a rooftop patio.
"We're getting a lot of interest," she told a Northern Nevada Development Authority Breakfast audience at the Carson Nugget, the downtown casino that was owned by the late Hop and Mae Adams, the couple for whom the foundation is named. Foundation trustee Steve Neighbors of Boise, Idaho, is the moving force behind downtown property purchases and The Hub.
MacKenzie explained that among a trio of initial projects after The Hub business incubator opens will be a Harvest Hub grocery and delicatessen at Washington and Curry streets. She didn't divulge a time line or other details.
Originally, NNDA's entrepreneurial breakfast gathering Wednesday was to have included a tour of The Hub just across Carson Street and down the block to the south of the casino. But MacKenzie said after her talk that electrical work was still under way, and she didn't think that tour was feasible. She said the incubator opening is expected in late March, but no specific date is set yet.
Rob Griffin of Reno has been hired to run The Hub, she said, introducing him to the crowd during her talk.
Other projects coming after The Hub's opening, she said, will involve work with Carson City youths in an entry-level program to encourage young entrepreneurs, working in cooperation with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, as well as work with the Nevada State EB5 Regional Center to help pair entrepreneurial immigrants from elsewhere, and their innovative ideas, with opportunities here.
"This is amazing," said Rob Hooper, NNDA director, after MacKenzie's talk.
Danny Campos of the NNDA business-development team also spoke, reporting that Clean Dried Processing, a Wisconsin-based food processor, will move into 165,000 square feet of space in Silver Springs and employ up to 20 people later this year. He said NNDA's team is heading to at least four California events each year, working to find leads and supplement efforts at luring companies from there to Northern Nevada.
The breakfast audience also heard from Mike Kamierski, president and CEO of the Reno-based Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, about regional collaboration. He emphasized a need for such cooperation, then stressed the importance of working on all three aspects of economic development — luring companies to the region, retaining business firms, and growing startups by offering help to entrepreneurs.