Officials at Akron’s Bounce Innovation Hub opened the doors of the vast first floor this week for a sneak preview of what will be the facility’s public space.
“The Generator,” at 526 S. Main St., designed by Hazel Tree Design Studio of Akron, covers 30,000 square feet of space in the former B.F. Goodrich plant on South Main Street. It is expected to open in May.
Bounce opened last spring and has been filling the nine floors of the former tire plant with entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators.
The idea is to attract investors, businesses and other partners to help support and develop the companies, ultimately boosting economic development in the city.
In addition to tenants, Bounce officials plan to offer workshops, training and other services for area residents, using innovation to strengthen the region and create jobs.
Attendees of the sneak preview saw renderings on easels and heard from speakers, including Hazel Tree principal Karen Starr and artist Dominic Falcione whose company, Krunchworks Design + Build is located at Bounce.
While Starr is designing much of the Generator’s interior, Falcione is designing the outside and façade of the building, featuring lighting emulating Goodrich’s iconic smoke stacks, a small park, and artwork.
Inside, the Generator, coworking space, conference rooms, an event space, and a makerspace will showcase furniture, lighting fixtures and art by local artists. The makerspace will offer computers with CAD design software, 3-D printers and other tools. Bounce will also offer an eSports lab in partnership with the University of Akron.
The first floor will house Remarkable Coffee and Cafe, owned by Chef Dan Remark and his wife, Valeri Remark. The couple also owns Magic City’s Remarkable Diner in Barberton.