Blue Dolphin Design & Engineering CEO Mark Jackson speaks to a crowd at the opening of the newly renovated Peerless Building. Blue Dolphin and its incubator, The Pie Shop, will occupy 11,000 square feet, more than a third of the space. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
The Peerless Building in Downtown Fresno is open for business after a yearlong, $2 million renovation project.
The building’s first tenants—Blue Dolphin Design & Engineering and their nonprofit incubator, The Pi Shop—celebrated the occasion with a reception and an ArtHop exhibit of 47 local artists. Together, Blue Dolphin and The Pi Shop will take up more than a third of the 30,000 square-foot building. Mark Jackson, CEO for Blue Dolphin, said that he hopes the incubator and coworking space will be the home to innovators and entrepreneurs who will help spurn economic growth in the area.
“It’s been a good reminder of what it takes to bring something into fruition,” Jackson said about the venture. “And it’s just kind of ironic because what Pi Shop’s going to be doing is helping brand new, fledgling businesses do the same thing.”
Plans to renovate the almost 90-year-old building started in 2013, and were seen through by investor and real estate agent Nader Assemi.
“The dream from the get-go was to provide a cool space for entrepreneurs,” Assemi said. “Specifically, I wanted people to use this space as a springboard to test new ideas.”
Pi Shop memberships are running at $150/month for coworking and $300 for an office. Commodities for the shop include (but are not limited to) 3D printing, laser, a hardware crib and metalworking. A full-time engineer-in-residence will also be available.