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E|SPACES brings flexible offices to Chattanooga's University Towers

This article was originally published on timesfreepress.com.

After Nissan Motor Co. moved its North American headquarters from California to Tennessee in 2005, the automaker soon found times when even its massive 460,000-square-foot headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., didn't have enough space — or at least the right type of work areas — for vendors, consultants or project developers working on new initiatives.

Nissan found an office solution not far away in a new type of office space that is part coffee shop and part executive suite. E|SPACES, a Nashville-based developer of flexible office spaces, offered a variety of open offices, meeting rooms and flexible work spaces for individuals or teams to get their jobs done.

"For large companies like ours, we do off-site activity all the time to minimize the day-to-day distractions that occur within the building," said Brian Dalauter, director of corporate services of Nissan of North America. "If you are able to take an entire team off site, you can really get some productive work without interruption and focus on what needs to be done."

Company at a glance

Name: E|SPACES

Locations: Cool Springs and Belle Meade in Nashville, University Towers in Chattanooga and next year in Orlando, Fla.

Local facility: 7,800-square feet of University Towers t 651 E. 4th St., includes 25 offices, open spaces, meeting rooms and coffee area

Schedule: The Chattanooga E|SPACES will open June 1

Website:http://espaces.com/locations/downtown/

E|SPACES, which is developing it third office in metro Nashville this spring, is also bringing its office concept to Chattanooga next month in the University Towers office building on East Fourth Street. Work crews are renovating the entire 7,800-square-foot second floor of the six-story building to help serve the growing number of mobile, technologically sophisticated and independent workers needing small or temporary space to do their work and meet with clients or interact with other workers.

The office and E|SPACES membership model includes a variety of options for small offices, meeting rooms and open spaces for workers, along with a stocked coffee bar and other amenities.

Jon Pirtle, chief executive of E|SPACES, said developer Rick English, who bought the 44,477-square-foot University Towers last year, convinced him to bring his office concept to downtown Chattanooga next to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus.

Jon Pirtle, chief executive officer of E/SPACES, speaks about the features offered at E/SPACES Wednesday, May 2, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tenn. E/SPACES has 7,800 square feet of office spaces in a variety of shapes and sizes for professionals to rent out. Photo by Erin O. Smith

"Chattanooga is smaller than the other markets where we have been opened or are planning to open so far," Pirtle said. "But we quickly saw the opportunity and the growth here in Chattanooga, which outside of Nashville is really one of the most exciting markets right now in Tennessee."

The E|SPACESprovide users free coffee, copying and other support services and the chance to rent for brief periods conference rooms and meeting facilities, as needed.

E|SPACES taps into the growing market of young, mobile processionals who can do their work on computer laptops almost anywhere are often populate local Starbucks, Panera Bread or or other coffee shops. The company is planning on expanding into Orlando, Fla., next year.

Pirtle said the new office concept should be appealing to both individuals who want an alternative to working at home or the local Starbucks outlet and also to major companies and organizations that need to rent space for one-day meetings or for space for special project teams.

"We have a lot of flexibility which should appeal to a variety of professional users," Pirtle said. "In Nashville, we serve everyone from a single-person office all the way up to major companies such as HCA, Pfizer and Nissan."

Chris Peterson, regional manager of internal medicine for Pfizer in Nashville, said his company has used E|SPACES to meet with customers and colleagues for brief and extended periods.

"E|SPACES has been a great asset to our middle Tennessee teams as we have been able to leverage local, private meeting space for our teams from 1-20 people," he said. "Given our short time lines on market opportunities we have been able to find locations and space in less than 24 hours as well as advanced bookings."

While E/SPACES is located on the second floor of University Tower in Chattanooga, Tenn., the rentable office spaces have ground-level access through a side door. Photo by Erin O. SmithTo help market the new office space in Chattanooga, E|SPACES has hired Derek Rende as vice president of sales for the University Towers building. Rende is an all-American golfer who graduated from Soddy-Daisy High School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga before competing professionally, including at the Lexus Panama classic in Rio Hato, Panama that he won in 2016. He also is married to LPGA golfer Brook Pancack, a former Baylor school and University of Alabama golfer.

"I know from my days at UTC, there are a lot of potential office needs for the university and we hope to see a lot of interest from others, both individuals and major corporations," he said.

Contact Dave Flessner at [email protected] or at 757-6340.