New Auburn Avenue co-working space aims to foster big ideas

August 4,2017

Source: Amy Wenk and Maria Saporta, Atlanta Business Chronicle

An Atlanta developer is planning an innovative co-working space along one of Atlanta’s most historic streets — a project that’s already lured high-profile investors including top Home Depot executives.

Gene Kansas Commercial Real Estate plans to open Constellations, a $2 million project that will offer “culturally-inspired” workspace with the hope of bringing together great minds who care about making a difference in the city.

It’s coming to the second floor of the circa-1910 former Southern School Book Depository at 135 Auburn Ave., a building that was designed by famed Atlanta architect Neel Reid.

Constellations will replace the Southern Education Foundation, which is relocating to a new space downtown.

Construction is expected to start in December, with tenants moving in around April 2018.

Constellations, aiming to foster big ideas in community building, will offer two residency program offices to Georgia State University and Georgia Tech for free for two years.

It will also donate two field offices to community-oriented nonprofits for two years, and 25 memberships to local community groups for two years. In total, it will offer nearly $135,000 worth of space for free.

It will fill its remaining space with small companies and independent contractors.

“As our name suggests, Constellations will be a place for stars to come together and shine, informing the bigger picture by their nature and the crossing of paths,” Gene Kansas said of the project that will sit along the Atlanta Streetcar line. “More than shared workspace, we are interested in shared values.”

The project has already scored top investors including Carol Tomé, chief financial officer of The Home Depot Inc., and her husband, Ramon, who formerly worked for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and today is a board member with the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.

“Ramon and I love Atlanta and the state of Georgia,” Tomé wrote in an email to Atlanta Business Chronicle. “We believe in preservation ... so Constellations was a perfect fit. We were able to invest in a project housed in a historic building that we intend to preserve, partner with creative and community-minded people, and bring us closer to the community we love.”

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