JERSEY CITY, NJ - Testifying to the population shift taking parts in various parts of Jersey City over the last few years a long-time local co-working space announced it will close in September.
“It is a sad day for downtown Jersey City,” said Councilman James Solomon. “Indiegrove built a unique community that nurtured many successful small businesses and entrepreneurial efforts. Their legacy will live on in all the successful endeavors they helped launch.”
Some local civic leaders see the demise of Indiegrove as a sign that that downtown has become unaffordable to artists and others that lived there, forcing many residents – particularly artists – have moved to areas such as Jersey City Heights and Bergen Lafayette.
Indiegrove may also be a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dan Levin, a local activist.
“I was working part-time for a business that rented space at CoLabs on 2nd Street,” he said. “It was pretty full until I was laid off and the person I was working for said the two floor space/offices emptied out and his business’ three people were the only ones left. I was the fourth, but two were over 70 years old, and I was too risky to have come in.”
Indiegrove, located on Newark Street, near the Grove Street, made the announcement via Instagram on Aug. 1, saying it would close at the end of September.
“It is with some sadness, but mostly pride, gratitude and hope, that I let you know that Indiegrove will be closing permanently at the end of September,” said Indiegrove founder Zahra Amanpour.
Indiegrove has been a cultural center for numerous arts and small entrepreneurs since it opened in 2012 and took part in a number of events including First Friday and the Jersey City Arts Tour.
Writer groups often met in the space, and briefly, the center served as the city’s only bookstore before Word Books and other stores made a comeback. On any given week, support groups, business groups, and even health classes, were held in these spaces overlooking what has since become the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza.
“I started Indiegrove to create a space for entrepreneurs and independent professionals to work and grow,” Amanpour wrote.
The users of the space started out for artists, freelancers, startups and such, and later became the home of tech companies, financial firms and other businesses. Gov. Phil Murphy made even made a stop there after being sworn in in 2018 to highlight the importance of entrepreneurs and small business.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars and countless jobs have been created by our members,” Amanpour wrote. “I am hopeful about the future and the possibilities that have come to the surface in recent months.”
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