HuB Relocating, Biter Branding Buildings as BOLD
The HuB in Sarasota will relocate to a new space on Main Street, while the current building, still owned by developer Jesse Biter, will be rebranded as BOLD | Live, Work, Play.
Biter announced today that the building would take on a new name, a move that aligns with plans for a mixed-use development Biter plans to open in early 2018, BOLD Lofts. The new structure will include 97 apartments, and both BOLD Lofts and BOLD will feature private office rentals, common work areas and various amenities geared toward startups and freelancers. Biter expects to roll out a formal venture fund and incubator at BOLD in late 2017. The shared office space at the BOLD buildings, which will be built as BOLD Co-working, will operate somewhat differently than the HuB. “We are going to have more focus on networking, education and growth resources,” Biter says. “I have experience building three successful startups and my plan is to help others do the same.”
As for the HuB, which was founded by Rich Swier in 2009 in the Rosemary District, the move comes after four years in the Fruitville Road building bearing the startup incubator’s brand. Swier remains involved with a number of startups operating at the HuB and Assunta Swier, Rich’s wife, now serves as the HuB’s CEO. Now, the HuB will move into Palm Tower, a structure at the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue and a prime locale in Downtown Sarasota. The building will undergo extensive renovations before the HuB reopens there in early 2017, but owners have committed to maintaining the building’s character and history. "Our goal is to make it the epicenter of innovation," says Rich.
“Our new concept will be different,” says Assunta. “Our coworker space will be 5,000 square feet (one floor) and we have many other floors in the building to attract tech companies. Our focus will be to continue to build the innovation economy.”
Both the rebranding of Biter’s buildings and the relocation of the HuB were announced in quick succession Monday afternoon. Biter, who became more heavily involved with the HuB when it moved into the Century Bank building he redeveloped four years ago, says the break between his projects and the HuB has been an amicable one. “I like Rich and Assunta a lot but the HuB has always been their brand it has always been more than co-working,” Biter says. “They have multiple HuB businesses. With the addition of BOLD Lofts, along with the amenities I plan to add during the construction, it was time to rebrand and grow the effort to help entrepreneurs succeed.”
“We see this as an expansion for the creative community,” Assunta says. “The current building will continue to offer amazing space and our new place will be a new concept we have been working on for a year.”