Short North’s Jackson Creative Cooperative Combines Coworking & Retail

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All photos by Susan Post

Short North is getting a new crop of retail storefronts and coworking space as Short North Fitness transforms to the Jackson Creative Cooperative. Situated on the first floor of The Jackson at 1137 N. High St., the renovated square footage will offer a mix of office, coworking, studio and retail space.

Howe Companies Owner and Jackson Creative Cooperative Operator Brad Howe says the coworking-retail mix will provide a better use of the space. The gym was originally intended as an amenity to help sell the building, but not meant to be a long-term venture.

The transition will bring multiple tenants into the space – some of which are already settling in.

Small retail bays with individual entrances line High Street, providing retailers access to a growing amount of foot traffic as the transition between Short North and campus continues to fill in. Howe says the small square footage provides a new kind of retail model, one rooted in less is more. The spaces offer a lower barrier to entry than a traditional brick-and-mortar shop, clocking in at around 200 square foot of space that’s available for three, six and nine month leases with all utilities included.

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Women’s boutique JE Fashion House has been operating online for two years and is now two months into its brick-and-mortar space in the Short North.

“I loved the idea of keeping my business intimate with my customers I connect with,” says JE Fashion House Owner Jazzmin Evans. “I wanted to give a different shopping experience when you come in my space. Also from transitioning from online to retail I knew this would be a great starting point with connection with other jet setter and fashion-forward women.”

For leather goods brand SEEL, a brick-and-mortar presence was an important tenant of their business model to help convey the quality of their goods to consumers as a relatively new business. Access to retail space through the Jackson Creative Cooperative has helped accelerate that opportunity.

“We’ve been saying from the beginning that a solid retail location would be critical to reaching our best clientele, but the overhead and risk involved in a standalone storefront was astronomical. We’re entirely self-funded, so it didn’t seem like it would be a possibility for a few years,” says Owner Jamie SEEL.

She immediately recognized the unique opportunity that a space like the Jackson Creative Cooperative provides.

“There’s nowhere else we could have such a small, manageable space to test out our storefront concept while also having access to such promising networking opportunities,” Seel says.

Evans says the physical presence of a storefront has already helped grow her business in a short amount of time and would recommend the experience to other new businesses. As SEEL makes its debut this week, Evans is looking forward to getting in front of their target demographic.

“The Short North has been our target for opening a store because it’s a unique major retail hub that emphasizes and embraces diversity and artistic expression, while also valuing high-quality goods,” Seel says. “Our brand aesthetic isn’t the average leather goods company- we borderline a couple different categories and bridge the gap between luxury and alternative style, so our client demographic is fairly specific.”

Howe says they will look to maximize the retail space available to continue to provide opportunities for retailers in a growing, changing neighborhood.

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As for the coworking side of the operation, Howe is seeing more demand for private offices as they continue to design the layout of the space to meet tenant needs. The Jackson Creative Cooperative worked with Continental Office to install a moveable wall system that will offer continued flexibility without extended down time for construction.

Private offices will lease at $650-$2,000 per month depending on what businesses are looking for. Open workstations priced at $450 per month and two conference rooms round out the Jackson Creative Cooperative. Traditional amenities and 24-hour access are included in the packages.

In addition to retailers, Howe expects a mix of tenants, from startups, to established small businesses, to professional service providers.

As the first location takes on more occupants, another Jackson Creative Cooperative location is planned for a pending development at the northwest corner of Fifth and Summit Streets, also owned by Howe.

For more information on SEEL, visit seelmade.com. Check out JE Fashion House at shopleeto.com. Both retailers will be open during this weekend’s Gallery Hop on Saturday, July 7. 

Learn more about Short North’s new retailers on Columbus Underground

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