Sync Technology Center to close Tuesday

By Wailin Wong
Posted Feb. 28 at 9:47 a.m.

The Sync Technology Center, a West Loop office aimed at becoming a hub for Chicago’s high-tech scene, is closing its current location on Tuesday after just four months in the space.

Mike Rhodes, a Chicago entrepreneur, had opened the center in November to provide office space to startups, as well as other firms specializing in services such as marketing or search engine optimization. Rhodes was also overseeing a new $5 million early-stage investment fund, and the center played host to many local tech events.

Rhodes told the Tribune that he had to move the Sync Tech Center out of its space at 322 S. Green because of a disagreement with the landlord, and that he is actively looking for a new location in the West and South Loop areas.

In an e-mail sent to the center’s tenants and supporters over the weekend, Rhodes said “there were many reasons” the center had to close, including a delay in launching the investment fund.

“I take the lion’s share of the reasons that brought about the current situation,” he wrote. “Some bad decisions were made that caused us not to launch the fund in a timely manner. That affected our ability to make the model work.”

KeyLimeTie, a software development firm with 35 employees headquartered in Downers Grove, had leased an office at the center in Fall 2010 but moved out a month ago.

“We had high hopes for the vision behind the center,” Tim Courtney, KeyLimeTie’s director of marketing, said in an e-mail.

“However, after not seeing the momentum build as expected, we decided to terminate our lease on January 31 and are actively seeking alternative locations in Chicago,” Courtney added.

Flyover Geeks, a Chicago-based Web site that covers news about local startups, was the first to report on Sync Tech Center’s closing.

In his e-mail to tenants, Rhodes said he is looking forward to re-opening the center at a different location.

“The technology and innovation community here in the Midwest is growing,” he wrote. “The SYNC will continue to foster this growth.”

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