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Pioneering co-working and art studio space closing: Shooting unrelated — this move's driven by real estate

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Caroline Collective Christmas with zebra in Santa hat
Co-workers at the CC communal space — complete with fake zebra with Santa hat CarolineCollective.cc
Caroline Collective hands making Cs
After five years, pioneering co-corking space Caroline Collective will close its doors in fall. Caroline Collective/Facebook
Caroline Collective putting sign letters up on building
Carefully placing the letters in 2008 CarolineCollective.cc
Caroline Collective work area
Communal space, after hours CarolineCollective.cc
vinyl art show at Caroline Collective in October 2012
Vinyl art show at Caroline Collective in October 2012 Caroline Collective/Facebook
Bernard- Caroline Collective's devoted mascot
Bernard, Caroline Collective's devoted mascot Caroline Collective/Facebook
Caroline Collective Christmas with zebra in Santa hat
Caroline Collective hands making Cs
Caroline Collective putting sign letters up on building
Caroline Collective work area
vinyl art show at Caroline Collective in October 2012
Bernard- Caroline Collective's devoted mascot
Caroline Collective [closed]
Get Directions - 4820 Caroline St. Houston

After five years as one of the city's leading co-working and art studio spaces, the Caroline Collective will be closing its doors for good this September.

With Thursday's unrelated shooting in front of the building's entrance still in the news, founders of the pioneering organization tell CultureMap that the 8,000-square-foot site at Caroline and Rosedale is under contract to make way for Museum District's current rush of development. Plans for the location have yet to be finalized.

Co-creator Ned Dodington says the closure is part of a longstanding agreement with partners Adam Brackman, Jeff Kaplan and Monte Large— the trio behind eco-stores New Living and Green Painter as well as the real estate firm Urban Deal, which has the deed to the Caroline property for several more months.

"This is all completely amicable," Dodington says.

"We launched the project knowing that, if it became time to develop the property, we would explore other options . . . Right now, we're looking to find the best solutions so our members aren't left in the lurch."

The Caroline Collective opened in 2008 to serve Houston's laptop generation. 

The Caroline Collective opened in 2008 to serve Houston's growing numbers of self-employed creatives — providing a warm and flexible environment for a laptop generation freed from the office, but still looking for a collaborative work community. Writers, graphics designers, web developers, tech entrepreneurs and even small non-profit organizations like Fresh Arts have filled its halls and communal tables.

The last half decade has seen a number of new co-working spaces like EaDo's Start, Rice Village's Platform Houston and Caroline offshoot C2 Creative in Montrose. Dodington hopes to work with fellow organizations to find the best fit for soon-to-be-displaced Caroline members. 

In the meantime, the Caroline Collective team has its sights set on starting a Houston branch of The HUB, a Vienna-based global incubator with more than 5,000 members at 30 co-working locations across the globe. Dodington says he's working closely with HUB reps in San Francisco to bring the network to the Bayou City in the near future.

"It's sad to see Caroline close, but we hope to put something even more significant together," Brackman says.

"With HUB, we'll be able to foster collaboration through a worldwide network and address issues that have a larger social impact. It's more than just co-working."

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