With RZC investment, Loloft planning new location in Rogers

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 2,503 views 

This rendering depicts a Loloft industrial co-working space at 600 S. First Street in downtown Rogers.

Bentonville-based RZC Investments, the investment platform for Steuart and Tom Walton, grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton, has invested an undisclosed amount in commercial real estate startup Loloft in Rogers.

Loloft is an acronym for “Local Logistics, Flexible Terms.” The business model operates similarly to a regular co-working concept but is marketed to early-stage or growing companies by offering warehouse spaces on a flexible basis with lease terms starting at 30 days.

Amenities include Wi-Fi, loading dock access and daily carrier pickups. Also included is a free unloading service, so members don’t need a forklift or pallet trucks.

Loloft co-founder and CEO Brendan Howell introduced the concept in Rogers late last year with a 45,000-square-foot industrial co-working space at 2117 W. Walnut St. He said operations ceased there this past April.

RZC’s investment is backing Loloft’s development of a new 28,000-square-foot location at 600 S. First St. in downtown Rogers. It will include 11 office spaces, two meeting rooms, a large conference room, three phone booths, and 31 private and lockable micro-warehouse spaces ranging from 190 to 1,000 square feet.

“We’re excited to partner with (Loloft CEO) Brendan (Howell) and the team at Loloft,” RZC
Investments Partner Matt Tarver said. “We believe micro-warehousing and fulfillment centers
represent a key element of unlocking value for growth-stage companies and entrenched players
alike as they look to invest in their supply chain while also reducing their logistics cost, working
capital investments and carbon footprints.”

Chris Baribeau with Fayetteville design firm Modus Studio is leading the building redesign of the former ice factory. It’s expected to be open by the end of the year. High Street Real Estate and Development in Johnson is the building owner.

Howell said more than half of the new building’s available space is already pre-leased. Members include:

  • Small e-commerce companies moving out of their garages.
  • Startups working on hardware projects.
  • Walmart vendors.
  • National brands wanting flexible micro-warehousing within proximity of retail stores.

“Initially, we thought that Loloft would primarily attract small e-commerce companies that are
fulfilling orders in their garages but looking to expand into a commercial warehouse space,”
Howell said. “But we’re also finding large companies wanting to use our space as last-mile
delivery micro-hubs because they can quickly and cost-effectively place product near customers
to achieve same-day delivery timeframes.”

In addition to the RZC investment, Loloft has raised more than $1 million. Part of that funding is from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, led by Revolution’s Chairman, CEO, and AOL co-founder Steve Case.