RALEIGHLoading Dock Raleigh doesn’t want to look like just any other co-working space out there.

So it’s doing what no other has done – move into Raleigh’s east side.

This week, the collaborative workspace opened its third location in Raleigh’s Prince Hall district, a historically African-American neighborhood. The new space is located in a refurbished, 3,000-square-foot home at 216 E. Lenoir St.

“There are a lot of other spaces — not just here in the Triangle but across the country – where, stereotypically, it’s mostly male, it’s mostly young, it’s mostly tech and mostly not people of color,” Loading Dock’s director of community Clark Rinehart told WRAL TechWire.

“We envision a space that has more equity, more diversity, more inclusivity. If this just looks like every other co-working space, then we failed.”

Rinehart is fully aware that it could like they’re “just being opportunistic” moving into this side of town. But that’s not the case, he says.

Clark Rinehart with his son, Beau.

They’re trying to create systemic change and create “real opportunities.” With three universities nearby – Shaw and Saint Augustine’s  are both historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), while William Peace is a small, liberal arts college  – Rinehart believes there’s a real pipeline of talent to be actualized.

“I live here on the east side of town. I know that there are already entrepreneurs who doing incredible work here; they just haven’t had the same access,” he says.

Launched in 2016, Loading Dock’s owner Phillip Freeman founded the workspace with a vision to create a community around his all natural insect repellent company, Murphy’s Naturals. Its first office is located on Whitaker Mill Road in a former grocery warehouse, and its second on 410 N. Boylan Ave.

Memberships range from $75-a-month passes for limited access to $900 a month for a dedicated office space. Each comes with usage of a conference room and meeting space, printing, WiFi and coffee.

Another perk: Users can work out of any of the three offices around the city – with more in the works, also in underserved areas.

“We’ve got three that are really viable options, but it’s probably a little too far out [to tell you more],” he says.

Rinehart realizes there’s still a lot of work to be done to bring about systemic change, but he’s determined.

“We’ve got to start somewhere,” he says. “As a community, we have to do the hard work of starting to create systems that are robust and welcoming, and that do the hard work of finding the people who’ve largely been excluded and inviting them to the table.”

Raleigh co-working space Loading Dock raises $836,000