A downtown Delaware building where reporters and editors once labored will be a place for both work and play when COhatch opens its space in the first floor and basement, said COhatch majority owner Matt Davis.
The city of Delaware purchased the building at 18 E. William St., next door to City Hall, in 2013 after the Delaware Gazette moved up the street in 2011. City offices and meeting space will be installed in the second floor.
Earlier this year, the city entered into a 10-year lease with Worthington-based COhatch for the rest of the building.
Davis said COhatch is spending about $500,000 to renovate spaces that once housed the newsroom, printing press and other departments.
Once that work is finished and the business opens -- which Davis said will happen by Jan. 1 if not sooner -- it will have offices and cubicles, along with other amenities such as a game room.
Davis said the Delaware business aspires to be "a work space ... a social club ... truly a community hall. ... It really is an interactive community center. ... That's what we're trying to build."
It will be, he said, a "building that has all this cool stuff in it. Now everyone in town gets to use it. That's the whole concept."
COhatch will offer a range of membership options for different work-related uses.
Davis said he expects members to come "from all walks of life," including retirees, small businesses, startup entrepreneurs, recent college graduates, lawyers and real-estate agents. Some will want memberships so they can use available meeting space, he said.
He also envisions the facility being used for a wide variety of social events, such as "a birthday party, fundraiser, holiday party, bar mitzvah -- whatever you want to do. ... Instead of having a 50th-anniversary party at your house, have it here."
At one end of the workplace spectrum will be dedicated private offices, with a logo on each locking door, costing $500 to $1,500 monthly, depending on the size.
A private office for an individual would cost from $500 to $600 a month, including utilities and Wi-Fi, Davis said.
Other office space will be available for lower prices, he said, depending on how many individuals use each and for how many days a week.
One option would allow working at the center for $100 a month so "you can get out of your house," and another option at 20 hours a week will cost $200 a month, he added.
Between 25 and 30 offices will be available, he predicted, but he said he thinks of the building's use in terms of individuals and not space alone.
He estimated between 50 and 100 people will work in the building, with about 45 in private offices, another 20 using desk space and perhaps another 50 who "come and go," using space once a week or twice a month.
Also available will be what he calls a community or social membership for $59 a month, allowing a membership holder to use space for 10 hours a month and attend three after-hours events.
For many of the uses, Davis said, COhatch members will employ a phone app to identify space availability and reserve time. Others without memberships can use the app to reserve space on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Recreational uses play a large role in COhatch's concept.
"If you think about it," Davis said, "everybody really wants their man cave to have a theater, a game room, a bar. I'm going to build it all for people and put it downtown and share it."
One first-floor room will double as a kitchen and pub. A patio will be outside the front door. A break room in the basement will feature games, including air hockey and pinball.
Also in the basement will be a digital movie theater with seating for 20 to 30 people, along with a large meeting room.
The plan is to allow members to "get away, de-stress and have some team-building," said Davis, who has plenty of other ideas for the building's use.
COhatch could host a Friday family movie night.
"Your kids can watch 'Finding Nemo' while adults sit on the patio getting to know each other," he said.
Also available will be membership at a gym yet to be selected, Davis said, and rental of a COhatch beach house at Anna Maria Island, Florida.
Davis earlier said COhatch will refer to the Gazette building site as "the Newsstand" in a nod to its history.
Like other COhatch locations, Delaware will have a manager and might add more workers later.
The company recently announced a new location at Polaris Fashion Place that will serve as a pub at night. Columbus meadery Brothers Drake will offer its honey wines at the site, which also will feature live music.
Two COhatch locations are open in Worthington, with another set to open in the winter in Upper Arlington.
Sean Hughes, Delaware's economic development director, earlier said COhatch has an impressive record of rehabilitating buildings.
"I was amazed at what COhatch did with the (old) Worthington library building," he said. "It still really maintains its historical integrity ... but it's just so much nicer now."