Distilling whiskey, making movies — even helping establish a colony on the moon — were goals of some of the startups that operated from the second floor of the Loveman's Building, which for eight years was the heart of the Lamp Post Group, a Chattanooga "incubator" of startup businesses.
This week, all was quiet and empty inside the hip-looking space known as "Suite 200" — which features glass-walled offices, IKEA furniture and rows of whiteboards.
Lamp Post Group now focuses on logistics startup businesses through a venture called Dynamo and has moved into smaller quarters inside the historic department store building.
Society of Work, Chattanooga's first co-working space, will move into Suite 200 and reopen it Jan. 1.
Society of Work’s Loveman’s space is due to open January 1st. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-449-9112.
"It's not really that there's been a pullback. There's been a shift in focus," said Tiffanie Robinson, president of Lamp Post Properties.
Lamp Post Group's leaders, Ted Alling, Allan Davis and Barry Large, made their fortune through Access America, a logistics company that they founded in 2002 and grew with some 500 employees and $600 million in revenue that they sold in 2014 to Chicago-based Coyote Transport for an undisclosed amount.
"Our focus for all new investing is Dynamo," Alling said via email. "We are seizing an opportunity in the global logistics tech industry that is there for the taking. With our background in both logistics and early-stage investing, we feel there are few better equipped for this niche."
Society of Work, which began in the First Tennessee Bank building, currently offers shared office space on the entire sixth and seventh floors of the Edney Innovation Center, a former Tennessee Valley Authority office tower at the corner of 11th and Market street.
The company plans to revamp Suite 200 of the Loveman's building for shared office space for other startup and other small and growing businesses.
"We'll make it reflect our branding and our community and culture," said Mary Stargel, community manager for Society of Work.
Society of Work will have two shared work spaces, she said, and 14 private offices that tenants can rent on the second floor of the Loveman's building. Society of Work will keep Suite 200's distinctive glass-walled offices.
"The glass offices will stay and we'll build out to add some additional offices," Stargel said.
Robinson said Society of Work is paying to lease Suite 200 for three years.
"I think it's a big win-win," Robinson said. "I'm excited. I think Society of Work will add a lot of different life to the building."
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.