We can finally announce what we’ve been working on for the last 7 months. Press release is below:
Toronto-based enterprise brings its successful model for catalyzing social innovation and business growth to NYC to help social entrepreneurs, innovators and non-profits to flourish
July 18, 2012 – (New York) – The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), a global leader in the creation of shared spaces for social innovation, will open its first U.S location in New York City’s iconic Starrett-Lehigh building this winter.
The Toronto-based organization, known for pioneering a unique approach to business incubation that blends shared workspace, community animation and social enterprise acceleration programs, will lease 24,000 square feet of space in the building, as part of a strategic alliance with the building’s owner, RXR Realty.
CSI is coming to New York to support the city’s fast-growing community of innovators, entrepreneurs, enterprises and non-profits working to make the world a better place. The new CSI Starrett-Lehigh will be a shared workspace, dynamic community, learning hub and catalyst to accelerate the success of New York’s social ventures.
“We’re ready to work with New York’s best and brightest world-changers,” said Tonya Surman, CSI’s CEO. “Expanding to New York presents CSI with the opportunity to harness greater resources, talent and partnerships to push forward social innovation in North America and around the world.”
This emphasis on partnerships is fundamental to the CSI model, said Eli Malinsky, Director of Strategy and Partnerships. “Collaboration is in our DNA,” he said. “We know that the key to our success will be connecting with dozens of organizations already doing incredible work in the city. It’s these partnerships that will allow us to do something truly exceptional.”
CSI is expected to open this winter, amid high-profile tenants that include Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart-Omnimedia, advertising firm Dentsu McGarry Bowen, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren/Polo.
The 19-story, 2.3 million square foot Starrett-Lehigh building is one of Manhattan’s 10 largest office buildings and occupies the entire square block bounded by West 26th and West 27th Streets between 11th and 12th Avenues. RXR purchased the property in August 2011 and is in the midst of a $50 million repositioning of the property.
“We are thrilled that CSI chose Starrett-Lehigh as their first location outside of Canada. Their focus on social innovation and helping creative entrepreneurs grow is completely consistent with our vision for Starrett” said RXR CEO Scott Rechler. “We are also excited for them to play a key role in providing programming and a sense of community to the 5,000 ‘creative class’ people who work at Starrett-Lehigh.”
“Part of what we are trying to do is create a sense of community among the 5,000 ‘creative class’ people who work at Starrett-Lehigh,” said RXR CEO Scott Rechler. “We also wanted to give back to the community by helping small businesses and entrepreneurs get their businesses started in this challenging economy. We looked into a number of organizations to help us accomplish this and felt CSI had the track record and unique approach that would fit perfectly here.”
Going far beyond physical space, CSI is a platform for its members to connect over real and virtual networks, tapping into a pool of highly skilled, creative, entrepreneurial and experienced professionals. It offers educational, peer-to-peer and mentoring opportunities. It will host hundreds of workshops, conferences and other events, fostering collaboration among its members and the community. In addition CSI will provide financial support to promising social ventures. Since its creation in 2004, CSI has helped more than 1,500 entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
For further information about the CSI Starrett-Lehigh, including membership details or partnership opportunities, please visit www.socialinnovation.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Centre for Social Innovation
The Centre for Social Innovation is a social enterprise with a mission to catalyze social innovation around the world. CSI currently operates three locations in Toronto, supporting more than 800 members working in a diversity of sectors from finance to farming and everything in between.
Created in 2004, the Centre for Social Innovation anticipated a surge of interest in social innovation and new forms of working and collaboration. Pioneering a unique approach that blends shared workspace, community animation and social enterprise acceleration programs, CSI remains an innovator in its own right, leading the field at home and around the world.
About RXR Realty
RXR Realty LLC (“RXR”) is a vertically integrated, private real estate company with expertise in investment management, property management, development, design, construction, leasing and financing.
RXR’s core growth strategy is focused on New York City and the surrounding tri-state area markets. RXR is one of the largest owners, managers, and developers in the New York tri-state area, with interests in approximately $4.7 billion of assets, comprised of 106 operating properties containing approximately 18.0 million square feet. For information about RXR, visit www.rxrrealty.com.