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April 5, 2019 Deal Watch Today

'Upward Living' to house startups in downtown Hartford

Photo | Upward Hartford Upward Living on Trumbull Street in downtown Hartford.

Co-working space Upward Hartford wants to make it easier for startups moving to the Capital City.

That’s why Upward, based in Hartford’s Stilts Building at 20 Church St., on Thursday announced it will provide 32 one-bedroom apartments on Trumbull Street in July for entrepreneurs participating in its newly minted Upward Labs program and downtown’s Stanley+Techstars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator in Constitution Plaza.

The two-year Upward Labs project, funded by a $3.9 million investment from Connecticut Innovations, the state’s quasi-public venture arm, aims to develop 40 companies in smart building and aged care technology industries in rotating, six-month cohorts.

Branded as Upward Living, the four-story “co-living” areas total about 40,000 square feet and will be free to occupants moving in July 1.

The units are being provided through the Upward-CT Innovations partnership, as well as support from New York’s Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC, a prominent landlord downtown that owns the building at 196 Trumbull St.

The first level of the space was recently leveraged as a pop-up lounge during the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament at XL Center.

Upward CEO Shana Schlossberg said the co-living spaces, the first of its kind in Connecticut, will help startups who struggle to find affordable, short-term apartment leases downtown.

“Short-term rentals are almost non existent downtown,” said Schlossberg, noting that entrepreneurs at Upward are often moving to Hartford from all across the country. “This co-living space was born out of necessity.”

The apartments and community spaces are currently being built and will be “move-in-ready” by July 1, Schlossberg said.

Each apartment, spanning between 400 to 450 square feet, will be fully furnished with a kitchenette, bathroom, shower, cable and utilities, Schlossberg said.

Community areas will include a kitchen, bar, recreational room with table games and big-screen TV, a multimedia room and a laundry room, among other amenities, she said. Each community space will span just over 1,000 square feet.

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