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Robert Martellacci, Founder & CEO of MindShare Workspace Inc., Canada’s first mall located coworking innovation space in Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga, said the concept is for shared office space for small businesses and startups.
“We are looking to expand our format into other suburban area malls,” he said.
“I had this vision four years ago when we started evolving the concept and that was kind of ahead of my time but now all of a sudden now the expansion opportunities, in combination with COVID and store spaces opening up, it’s a great opportunity to expand.”
The Erin Mills Town Centre space is about 4,000 square feet, a former Urban Planet store. There are nine offices, dedicated desks, and drop in space. It accommodates 40 to 50 businesses.
“I want to make it really super simple and easy to access our space,” said Martellacci. “People really value the amenities of the mall. The food court. The free parking. We’re solving the problem for the malls. I see a shift happening to more services in the future with the recent closures. It presents opportunities.
“We’re looking at other locations. We’re definitely looking at U.S. expansion and we’re looking at expansion into other suburban malls that are a key region like the GTA. We’re interested in Calgary. We’re looking at major metropolitan areas in suburban regions because people are re-evaluating priorities in life. People are looking to stay closer to home. People are starting their own businesses because of COVID. Growth is definitely on the horizon.”
“We’re in discussions with Milton. The Town of Milton is the fastest growing town in Canada and over 3,000 people travel downtown daily on the GO. That’s likely going to be our next location. There’s no coworking space there and there’s a mall that’s being renovated.”
A mall conglomerate in Upper State New York to Boston with 16 locations has also expressed interest in the concept.