Downtown Oklahoma City's Co-working Collaborative closes, blames lawsuit

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: October 2, 2012

Only after the contribution, Parkhurst said, did he and his partners Chad Henderson and Tommy Yi learn about Blue Print for Business, a firm co-owned by Hunter and Guy Madison and launched Feb. 1. After unsuccessful efforts to secure the NW 10 location for the collaborative, the site at NW 68 and Classen was considered, Parkhurst said.

When the site at NW 68 and Classen didn't work, and with the original office closing, Parkhurst said U.S. Fleet Tracking representatives sought to have the collaborative reopen at Rockwell Plaza in conjunction with Blue Print for Business.

“It's a new business model being adapted around the country,” Parkhurst said. “The accelerator invests $20,000 to $30,000 in exchange for equity in a company. And it lasts for about three months. … They have five companies they've funded that are located along Northwest Expressway — in the same spot they were trying to get us to relocate.”

Parkhurst said except for one person who voiced “no opinion,” the collaborative's membership unanimously rejected the Rockwell Plaza site, saying they wished to remain downtown. Parkhurst said the rent requested by U.S. Fleet Tracking for the Rockwell Plaza site for one year totaled the amount the company had contributed.

“It's a very difficult location,” Parkhurst said. “We've always been in downtown Oklahoma City and are a part of the downtown culture.”

Parkhurst said the collaborative never ceased operations, and did reopen at 723 W Sheridan Ave. on Film Row in July. He said several settlements were proposed but that Hunter refused to consider any such options.

“We think this whole situation is motivated by Mr. Hunter,” Parkhurst said. “He's upset that we turned down his request that we locate with his new business. So he's sticking it to us.”

Yi and Henderson agreed with Parkhurst — the collaborative's demise is prompted only by the inability to wage an expensive legal fight against a much bigger company.

“It's sad to be at the end of a journey,” Henderson said, “not because we weren't on the right path, but because we were unexpectedly pushed off the path by someone bigger.”

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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About those involved

The Oklahoma City Co-working Collaborative was established three years ago and provided the city's creative and technology professionals a work space where they could rent desks, cubicles and offices, as well as a space for meetings, classes and discussions. U.S. Fleet Tracking is a GPS tracking manufacturer providing Internet-based access to live vehicle tracking and asset management. The company is based at NW 156 and May Avenue.

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