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Platform 53

Like CoCo, Platform 53 is a coworking space that is set to open in the Midwest city of Covington, Kentucky. Covington, KC is located interestingly right along the Ohio-Kentucky boarder, and is almost a division of the Ohio city Cincinnati. Platform 53 is sometimes considered to be in both cities, but the postal address is in Covington, KC.  

Both were once considered the most truly American cities in the US, being that they were some of the first largest not located on a coast. Cincinnati gained economic growth and value throughout history with its connection to the US railroads and canals that connected its rivers to the Great Lakes in the region.

However, just as manufacturing jobs left other US cities during the mid 1900s, the same happened to Cincinnati, leaving many of it’s residents unemployed and in search of a new field of work. With the tech booms hitting the coastal cities of San Francisco and Seattle, Cincinnati also began to develop a budding tech scene, and was even ranked number two of the “Most Unexpected Cities for High-Tech Innovation” in 2012.

With the development of the tech industry, the trend of coworking spaces began to catch on as well. After the closing of Cincinnati’s most prominent coworking space, Cincinnati Coworks, in 2012, Platform 53 has looked to fill a gap that was left. And just as CoCo did, Platform 53 is looking to historic buildings to renovate and renew to meet the needs of their tech savvy clientele, while at the same time injecting fresh life into the historic areas of their city.

Platform 53 is looking to renovate the historic Covington Train Station that was built and opened in 1853. The space even takes part of their name from that year. The founders, Stacy Kessler and Adam Dean, see the historic train station as being one of the original drivers of economic growth in the city, and want their space to reflect the new economic center it has the potential to become.

What also makes Platform 53 so unique is that it is one of the only coworking spaces in the Cincinnati/Covington area.  Other coworking spaces in the area include Awesome Inc located in the nearby city of Lexington, Kentucky. There is also a few coworking spaces located in Columbus, Ohio such as Qwirk and a music school turned coworking space called the Salt Mines.

In the End

CoCo and Platform 53 are working hard to bring and establish the idea of coworking in the Midwest. As the regions ever growing tech industry continues to thrive, more start ups will be looking to spaces such as CoCo and Platform 53 to set up and get their feet of the ground, amongst the dynamic group of other entrepreneurs that coworking spaces bring together. Both of these spaces have also made the decision to renovate historic buildings in their cities in order to add a new dimension to the areas old economic hubs.

The use and development of such spaces allows local entrepreneurs a chance at making it in a US city other than ones like San Francisco or Seattle. In the long run, this movement will drive up local economic investments and development, which will help these historic US cities continue to thrive. Coworking has the potential to breath new life into US cities now looking for a new identity, and coworking spaces are leading the way.

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