New nonprofit incubator hopes to help revitalize Downtown Fresno

EMBED </>More Videos

Common Space hopes to help other organizations and businesses with its new building. (KFSN)

There's a new place for non-profits to bring their ideas to life in Downtown Fresno. Common Space hopes to help other organizations and businesses with its new building.

Inside its Downtown Fresno office, tables and chairs fill Common Space and soon it will be full of people with bright ideas.

"We're kind of both the business entrepreneur, but then we're also really the community philanthropist," founder Justin Kamimoto said. "Mix the two, it's a very interesting relationship, but it's where a lot of creativity comes from to make the community better."

Kamimoto is proud of his newly opened nonprofit incubator. Organizations can use the desks and lounge space to launch their ideas and work together.

"The space is free for the first year," he said. "In the future when we move to our space which is seven times where we are currently at right now, we will probably move into a membership model, but we'll also make it affordable for nonprofit's to host their events."

Now they house an LGBT+ program and a monthly homeless meal distribution program. They say several other groups are interested in using the space. The shared concept is trending in Downtown Fresno.

"I think it's become popular because we can now have a space where we don't have a set office with four walls. We can meet other people and brainstorm on similar ideas and then meet people who have the same philosophy as we do," Kamimoto said.

The space is run by its board members and 50 percent of it was built by hand. They even used reclaimed wood from Cedar Lanes.
They also plan to showcase local artwork and be a stop on art hop in the future.

"We chose downtown here out of any other place in the Fresno region because now is the time to revitalize," Kamimoto said. "And people are getting on the impact of wanting to make a change and here we really can."

It's a change they say is grassroots.

The building is Phase 1 for Common Space, and, in the future, they hope to expand and impact the Valley on a bigger scale.
Related Topics:
(Copyright ©2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)