R1 Indoor Karting co-owner buys Cranston industrial building to house TimeZone headquarters

PAUL GARCIA, center, director of marketing for TimeZone, and graphic designer Sarah Mendes celebrate the recent purchase of an industrial building at 180 Mill St. in Cranston. The building, purchased by R1 Indoor Karting Inc. co-owner Mike Hezemans, will house the TimeZone headquarters. / HAPPY TIME ZONE

CRANSTON – A top executive of Lincoln-based R1 Indoor Karting Inc. has purchased a large industrial building on Mill Street, where part of the facility will become TimeZone’s new headquarters.

TimeZone, an entertainment affiliate of R1 Indoor Karting, is a unique time machine-like indoor recreation experience that opened its first location at R1 on April 1, 2021. The 5,300-square-foot entertainment experience adjacent to the go-kart track features 25 rooms called portals, with each portal representing a different time period and testing players on both their mental and physical abilities.

According to a tweet Friday from MG Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., Mike Hezemans, co-owner of R1 Indoor Karting, purchased a 114,036-square-foot building at 180 Mill St. from Mill Ventures LLC for $775,000, and the sale closed on Jan. July.

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Pieter Martens, the former CEO of R1 Indoor Karting who is the founder and CEO of TimeZone, confirmed to Providence Business News on Friday that a portion of 180 Mill St. will house the TimeZone headquarters, where employees will develop new game and room concepts and will house corporate offices.

TimeZone spokesperson Paul Garcia said Friday that the company currently occupies 11,000 square feet in its new building that houses its workshop. That workshop, Garcia said, could grow to as much as 30,000 square feet once construction plans are finalized. The workshop itself, which produces most of TimeZone’s games and components, is moving from the Netherlands to Rhode Island to its headquarters, Garcia said.

“It will create new jobs,” Garcia said.

In addition to about 20 to 25 new full-time employees working at the new location, Martens also said he’s speaking with the New England Institute of Technology in hopes that the college and other local schools can help the company develop new ones in various ways. developing games for rooms at headquarters. Garcia said he is currently defining what and who will be involved in the new school-based program in TimeZone.

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“The rooms are all modular, so it’s a quick build,” he said. “Then we can partner with schools and artist groups to create new games from scratch.”

With TimeZone’s headquarters occupying part of the building, the rest will be leased to other entities that need that large space, Martens said, and it will be fully operational next year.

However, Garcia said the building has been vacant since 1986 and “a lot of work” needs to be done on it before it is fully operational. Hezemans said part of the building is being “completely renovated” and could be used for storage or stock, but it’s still being determined what its use will be. Other repairs the building needs include a new roof, new sprinklers and other fire safety measures, and new electricity and heating, Hezemans said.

“So it’s a lot of work [to repair them]. I really want to do this work in the summer, so that it is ready for the winter”, says Hezemans.

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TimeZone is also expanding beyond the borders of Rhode Island. Martens said TimeZone’s first out-of-state location is currently under construction at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, NY. He also said there are “several other” TimeZone locations and partners that will own and operate them along the East Coast.

“From Florida to Boston, we’re talking to different people to… [own] Time zones’, says Martens.

James Bessette is the editor of PBN’s special projects and also covers the non-profit and education sectors. You can reach him at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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This post R1 Indoor Karting co-owner buys Cranston industrial building to house TimeZone headquarters

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