Construction Begins on Troy Innovation Garage
February 18th, 2016
TROY >> Construction has officially begun on the historic downtown building that will soon be the home to the Troy Innovation Garage.
Gramercy Communications’ founder and CEO Tom Nardacci said more than $1 million will be invested in the two-story structure over the coming months to renovate the 13,000-square-foot space for both an incubator program and as Gramercy’s permanent home.
Nardacci expects that the Troy Innovation Garage will first have a soft opening this summer, with plans for a grand opening in the fall, around the same time Gramercy is expected to move in.
Nardacci said he saw similar incubators for creative entrepreneurs, including writers, photographers and web developers, in Boston and Buffalo and thought it would be perfect for Troy.
“Our office for our public relations company continues to grow to the point where I had to make the decision to find a new location for our offices,” he explained. “Based off the need to expand my company, I then thought, what if I made some of the space into an incubator space for professionals to rent out office space.”
Nardacci believes opening a new space for his business and other entrepreneurs will be beneficial for everyone involved.
“I have always had other professionals use our office space anyway, so I figured, why not make it officially part of my business model and formulize it in this way,” he said.
The Innovation Garage will take up about 80 percent of the new office space, and Nardacci said he plans to add a few more employees to his communications business once Gramercy moves in.
Nardacci has already created a community manager position, hiring Michelle Schroll to make more people aware of the Innovation Garage. Part of that effort was Garage Social 1.0, which Gramercy hosted Thursday night for members of the community to learn more about the project and what it will offer to business professionals.
“I have been working to reach out to wide range of professionals who I know could have a positive impact on the Innovation Garage atmosphere, and we have had plenty of other professionals reach out to us, as well,” Schroll said.
Nardacci sees the Innovation Garage attracting talented young professionals who could form new connections and partnerships with Gramercy.
The Troy Innovation Garage will be set up with a new website that is set to launch by the end of this week. The website will be where business professionals will be able to rent out office or conference space.
“We’re working to make everything digital and for easy access for people to really be able to sign up for office space and pay all from their mobile devices,” said Nardacci.
The garage will offer month-to-month memberships, day-to-day passes and unlimited access for people to be able to rent out as needed. There will be enough space for 14 private offices, in addition to open offices.
Pricing for a one-day pass will be $40, with a $30-a-day charge for rentals of two to five days, a $25 daily charge for six days and continued rate cuts for longer terms
Another unique feature of the Innovation Garage is its business incubator program. Six to 10 spots in the Innovation Garage are being set aside for startup business that qualify for free membership. Each of these memberships would include 24/7 access, a mailbox, free events, access to the entire co-working space and free conference room bookings. Each participant in this program must contribute to the garage, however, by hosting one creative morning, lunch-and-learn or similar event each month.
“I really love the Troy area, and I believe that this idea will work out great for everyone involved,” said Nardacci. “I really just want to be able to offer space for business professionals around the Capital Region to be able to do work out of.”