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The Shift: Loloft offers space for e-commerce and startups

Worth Sparkman

Aug 23, 2023

Early-stage companies needing fulfillment, or even space for small production lines, now have a flexible option.

Driving the news: Loloft, a 28,000-square-foot building in Rogers, officially opens tomorrow, with a ribbon-cutting at 5pm.

  • The business rents coworking office space, dedicated desks and microwarehousing starting at 190 square feet. Prices start around $750 per month, and cold storage is available.

Why it matters: Commercial vacancies — especially in warehouse spaces — were at a record lowat the beginning of the year.

  • Many shared spaces cater to office workers and don't offer space, storage and dock amenities for industrial or e-commerce clients for fulfillment.

The building is already more than 50% leased, co-founder Brendan Howell told Worth.

The big picture: E-commerce demand is up 30% from prepandemic levels, and some third-party logistics providers are using microwarehousing to get products closer to consumers.

The 'aha': The notion was born when Howell tried to find 2,000 square feet of space to make masks during the pandemic.

  • Eventually, he was able to sublease space from Stribling.

  • "We were looking for 5,000 feet for a year and basically could only get 20,000 feet for five years," he said.

Of note: RZC Investments and Steve Case's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund have backed Howell and the other co-founder, Paola Ibarra.

  • The company hopes to secure more investments soon.

What's next: Construction is underway on a 51,000-square-foot Loloft in Phoenix, which is planned to be open by the end of the year.

  • The group is working on a 90,000-square-foot location in Miami and hopes to break ground soon, Howell told Worth.

🚛 The Shift is a regular feature to catch up quick on what's happening in Arkansas' economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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