With more than a third of America’s workforce–some 53 million people–freelancing right now, the need for co-working space is at an all-time high. Fortunately here in Brooklyn, it feels like a new place for self-employed people to set up shop crops up every couple of months. If it’s not a new-age church that offers desks space by day and sermons by night, then it’s a West Coast work space that’s found a second home in Williamsburg. Recently we’ve noticed that co-working spaces have started to sprawl outside of the general confines of North Brooklyn and Dumbo to occupy neighborhoods not necessarily known for their abundance of open desk space. Within this co-working trend are three new spaces we think are worth knowing about.
Cowork.rs, 68-92 3rd St., Brooklyn
When Cowork.rs opens it new co-working space in Gowanus this summer, it will more than double the size of its original Flatiron location, and offer room for roughly 150 co-workers and nearly 100 private offices. “The reason why we made it so big is because we really want every type of company there,” says CEO Shlomo Silber. “So as the community grows you can look to the community for all your needs.” The amenities at the 47,000 square-foot space on 3rd Street, just down the block from Whole Foods, includes a roof deck for al fresco lunches and parties, along with a smaller event space for 35-40 people (the main space can also be rented after hours for events). And if you are too shy to strike up a conversation with a co-worker while topping up your coffee, a weekly happy hour on Thursdays—typically sponsored by members who wish to showcase a new product or initiative—provides some guaranteed networking. The projected opening date is July 1 and they’re currently accepting applications. If you sign up by June 30 you can get one of two deals–one month free if you sign up for six months or half off the month of July. Pricing: $450 per month for non-dedicated co-working membership, $550 for a dedicated co-working desk; office space starts at $800 for a one-person office, or $550-$600 per person per desk in an office.
Friends Work Here, 47 Bergen St., Brooklyn
Tina Roth Eisenberg, who some might better know by her blog name swissmiss, is like the Pied Piper of creative people. After discovering the office building in DUMBO that housed her design studio, as well as Studiomates, the co-working space she started in 2008, was going condo, she started looking for new digs. She’s recently relocated her entire operation–which includes Tattly, a design-minded temporary tattoo company, and CreativeMornings, a global breakfast lecture series–to Cobble Hill, taking over 3,000-square-feet of commercial space next door to the Invisible Dog Art Center. She’s brought quite a few of her former studiomates–a tight-knit community of fellow designers, as well as filmmakers, writers, illustrators, developers and photographers–with her, too. Together, they’ve formed a new co-working space, Friends Work Here. With its open floor plan of exposed brick walls, wooden floors and windows on three facades, Friends is one of the cooler co-working spaces we’ve come across as of late. Not only is it just off the G train (and not a far walk, ride or bike from Atlantic Terminal’s nearby subway hub), but it’s also surrounded by cafes, restaurants, banks, bodegas and bars–both on Smith and Court Street–and situated above its own tattoo parlor. (Tattly’s offices occupy the floor below.) Amenities include a 5’5″ wide desk with chair and drawer unit, access to two phone booths, a lounge area, private conference room, wifi, water, coffee and access to Invisible Dog’s backyard. Pricing: $650 per month. Right now Friends, which can hold 30 co-workers at a time, is full, but is accepting applications and will contact interested parties as space becomes available.
The Yard, 67th St. and Columbus Ave.
Since opening its first location on the Greenpoint/Williamsburg border in 2011, The Yard—where Brooklyn Based co-works on occassion—has been steadily launching offshoots in Manhattan, first in the Lower East Side and then in the Flatiron district, and now, Lincoln Square (a Herald Square location is coming in the fall). The newest and largest location on the Upper West Side doesn’t have the same edgy vibe as its downtown counterparts–it’s a little more sophisticated and subdued, but the decor is similarly colorful and industrial chic. As soon as you enter the building, you’re greeted by illustrated murals on the walls, and once on the fourth and fifth floors that the Lincoln Square Yard occupies, there are attractive, large-scale abstract paintings, and more greenery and space for lunching beside the kitchenette. Members here span a number of industries–there are tech startups like talkspace, non-profits and independent professionals. The rates do not necessarily reflect the more upscale feel; some membership plans are a little less than the other Manhattan outposts, and you’ll have access to the same regular events The Yard throws at all of its locations, from workshops to wine tasting happy hours. There are just a few dedicated co-working spaces left, although there are plenty of open co-working memberships and private offices available. Pricing: $100 for mail service and an hour of conference room time per month; $295 per month for “open” co-working membership, $395 for a dedicated co-working desk; office space starts at $800 for a one-person office. There is also a $25 drop-in day rate, or $65 per hour for use of the conference room.