Barrier-reducing Space Ensures Vibrant, Employee Engagement

Contributed by BSM Staff

HOUSTON -- Rice Management Company, developer of The Ion, a high-performing, barrier-reducing space that focuses on community, has joined a partnership with Common Desk and Transwestern to build it into a fully realized innovation hub and ensure a vibrant and engaging space for tenants, start-ups, and community members.

The organizations will work closely with RMC to help build The Ion into a fully realized innovation hub and ensure a vibrant and engaging space for tenants, start-ups, and community members.

The 288,000 square-foot building will accommodate multiple uses, including shared workspace, prototyping and maker resources, event space, classrooms, food and beverage offerings as well as indoor/outdoor communal areas with shared amenities.

Common Desk will operate more than 58,000 square feet of experiential, flexible office space on The Ion’s second floor, offering coworking, private offices, team office suites and a training room. The Common Desk design team will use refined design, and innovative and thoughtful programming elements to keep people connected and inspired. It will also manage a coffee bar for workers on the second floor of the building.

Transwestern has been tapped by RMC to provide comprehensive property management support for the entirety of The Ion. The Houston-based company will create a seamless operations experience through its building, tenant, vendor, compliance, client, and administrative services. Transwestern will ensure all tenants, guests and community members benefit from The Ion’s physical space and its amenities.

“For a project as special as The Ion, it was important that we selected a flexible office space operator that understood the building’s ethos as a space for collaboration and innovation,” said Ryan LeVasseur, Managing Director of Direct Real Estate at RMC. “From the moment we met with the Common Desk team, it was clear they represented the right balance of sophistication and excitement and shared a commitment to creating a sense of community.”

Dawson Williams, Head of Real Estate at Common Desk, said the company is “thrilled to be a part of this prestigious project and are looking forward to offering individuals, small businesses, and high-growth companies the chance to experience the unique programming and innovative spirit of the building. We're excited to be a strategic gateway to helping Houstonians experience all The Ion has to offer."

“Transwestern is excited to work alongside Rice Management Corporation as property and facilities manager for The Ion, while contributing to its mission of innovation, collaboration and inclusion,” said Kevin Roberts, Southwest President at Transwestern. “As Transwestern continues to elevate our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we are proud to stand alongside The Ion in supporting minority- and women-owned businesses in enabling innovation that will shape the future of Houston.”

“Very few companies have Transwestern’s breadth of experience and proven success of managing high-quality, talent-attracting workplaces,” said LeVasseur. “Add to that the company’s deep roots in Houston, and we’re confident we’re working with the best team to ensure a flawless, attractive, activated, and efficiently operated hub for the growth of Houston’s innovation ecosystem.”

The Ion will anchor a 16-acre innovation district and is destined to become the epicenter for Houston's innovation ecosystem as an inclusive, dynamic, vibrant and dense hub focusing on quality collaborations between entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, corporations, academics, and the Houston community when it opens in 2021.

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