Some of the highlights of the new 1871 space will include reserved desks, conference rooms, classrooms, a coffee shop, shared working space, and additional space for startup accelerators to rotate through, and reserved rooms for universities and VC firms. They currently have 50,000 square feet in the Merchandise Mart with the option to expand another 50,000-75,000 square feet on the same floor, so if there is a ton of demand and if all goes well, they will choose to open up the additional space.
I think the biggest appeal to becoming a member of 1871 is to be connected with the tech community that they are creating. Not only are the spaces/membership options cheaper than the current options, but included in the membership will be several classes on coding and valuation as well as access to guest speakers and mentors. Everyone who is invited to become a member of 1871 is also expected to give back to the community in some way, whether it is teaching a class or mentoring other startups, so it will be a great way for the whole startup community to collaborate on the new ventures that are being established in Chicago.