The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce plans to purchase the Bradberry Building on the downtown square.
The building is located at 21 W. Mountain St. on the south side of the square, and includes several tenants such as Tiny Tim’s Pizza/West Mountain Brewing, and Jammin’ Java. All tenants will remain in their current locations.
The plan is to move the chamber offices into the second floor of the building by Jan. 1, and dedicate a portion of the ground level to a Fayetteville branch of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, a North Little Rock-based nonprofit organization that supports Arkansas entrepreneurs and innovators.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to work with the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce to bring our facilities and programs to Northwest Arkansas,” said Warwick Sabin, executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. “Our mission is to extend access to entrepreneurial education and resources across the state, and this new partnership with the Fayetteville Chamber is a major step forward in that direction.”
Officials said the Fayetteville hub is expected to open sometime in the first quarter of 2016. Plans include a “Launch Pad” maker space with 3-D printers, CNC machines, and other equipment for designing and prototyping.
Future additions will include an entrepreneurial co-working and incubation space, and local versions of the North Little Rock facility’s STEAM Lab classroom, and Art Connection program.
“The Chamber’s new maker space and Innovation Hub, in partnership with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, is clear evidence of the growing entrepreneurial education opportunities and resources being created in our state,” said Steve Clark, president of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub will only make the Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas innovation ecosystem stronger and further elevate the innovation culture throughout Arkansas.”
Clark said memberships will range from $40-$60 per month, which the cheaper rates reserved for students and senior citizens.
The Fayetteville hub will be the third space on the downtown square dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs. Startup Junkie Consulting last year moved into the second floor of the Pryor Center at 1 E. Center St., and local entrepreneur John James recently unveiled plans to turn the Old Post Office in the middle of the square into a startup accelerator called Hayseed Ventures.
Clark did not disclose the purchase price of the Bradberry Building, but county estimates show the property value at around $1.15 million.
The chamber plans to sell its current building at 123 W. Mountain St., located about a half-block west of the square between Fayetteville City Hall and the city’s planning offices. The current list price is $998,000.