The soon-to-be-vacated third floor of the Mercer Warehouse will become the second Edmonton outpost of Work Nicer, the Calgary-based coworking company.
"We are excited to carry the torch, so to speak, from Startup Edmonton," said Alex Putici, founder and CEO of Work Nicer, at a news conference outside the Mercer with Devin Pope of Gather Co., which owns the old brick building.
The 14,000-square-foot space will be Work Nicer's second location in Edmonton, joining the company's Beaver House outpost at 10160 103 St.
Startup Edmonton began as an entrepreneur-led startup in 2009, and the 100-year-old Mercer Warehouse became its home in 2012. Startup was acquired by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation in 2014, and became part of Innovate Edmonton's portfolio in 2021.
"Innovation is a team game, and today's announcements are a bit of a baton pass of our storied Mercer's space to Work Nicer," said Innovate Edmonton CEO Catherine Warren.
Putici was happy to receive that baton, given the experience at the company's Beaver House location, which opened in 2019.
"The team knew from even before it opened just how truly special the entrepreneurial community in Edmonton was," Putici said. "We're so excited to be stewards of (the Mercer's) history and carry that forward and build on top of that energy ... This can be a home and a hub for some of the greatest minds, not just in the city, but in the province."
The pandemic has not been easy on coworking, given work-from-home orders early on and the continuing attractions of commute-free work.
"It put to the test the true community that we are. And it was really hard," Putici said. "And not only did we survive, but we grew open now three new outposts." Work Nicer now has a total of six locations and more than 1,200 community members.
Work Nicer is expected to move into the new location in the fall.