COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ground has officially broken on a new location for Ohio’s only co-working space and leadership incubator for women of color.

Zora’s House will occupy a 10,000-square-foot building on the corner of North Fourth Street and East Eighth Avenue in Weinland Park. The community gathering place for women of color has been offering services in Columbus since 2018.

“This building doesn’t happen without our entire community getting behind it,” explained the founder of Zora’s House LC Johnson.

When Zora’s House took over at 1311 Summit St. in 2018, it was just Johnson and her husband.

“Over the last two years, there’s really been a number of folks in the community that Zora’s House has reached and touched,” Johnson said. “And so it was really special on this groundbreaking to have such an amazing crowd with such great energy.”

The original location was where Johnson had the dream and mission of creating a safe space for women of color to give to chase their dreams and build a community. Whether it’s pursuing an education, starting a business, making friends, getting involved in activism or finding office space or a safe place to stay, Zora’s House has it. But they’re running out of room.

“A couple years back, we really started to outgrow our current space,” Johnson said. “We would be hosting programs and we would have such demands that we would have to host a program at a different location because we couldn’t host everyone at Zora’s House.”

She decided Zora’s House needed a permanent place large enough to met the demand. Then Johnson met Allison Marker.

“We met at like a networking event, and she was like ‘Hey, I think I want to build a building,'” said Marker, the CEO and president of Marker Construction. The two combined forces about a year ago to build the vision of a new, bigger, Zora’s House.

“For us to both be female entrepreneurs and business owners and both kind of be in that space where we’re trying to grow, it’s just really cool. There aren’t really that many opportunities like that around here,” Marker said.

Zora’s House has already garnered $300,000 and $500,000 grants toward a new building. And other community partners have pitched in as well, making the $6 million price tag more manageable.

Construction on Zora’s House is expected to finish in January 2024, Marker said.