Sean Sommerfield has only been working in Space for a month, but so far this coworking thing is working for him.
“It’s worth it,” he says. “I’m way more productive here than at home.”
For $300 a month Sommerfield, who works remotely as a 3D artist for Grand Rapids-based Dart Frog Creative, has all the comforts of a traditional office plus – and, perhaps most importantly – like-minded remote workers, freelancers or “solopreneurs” who create an inspiring and creative environment.
A boost in productivity is just one of the benefits coworking professionals cite, according to the recently released annual Global Coworking Survey from Deskmag.
Nate Elkins opened the 2,000-plus square-foot Space above Green Island in downtown TC late last year. He has six month-to-month tenants right now and two remaining full member spaces available.
He describes it as a hybrid coworking approach: “From the beginning we were cautious in how we designed the interior layout; ultimately we ended up designing for less transient and more permanent professionals.”
Elkins does, however, have approximately 600 square feet of workspace – a window bar overlooking Front Street – available for folks looking for shorter-term stays, but no users as of yet.
Cost: $300 monthly, $10 daily rate, 5-10-20 day passes also available; Inquire: firstname.lastname@example.org, 120 E. Front St., 944.4114
Just a few doors down the street, Bradley and Kirsten Matson opened CoWharf coworking space in the Front Street Commons (aka The Arcade) in December. On any given day, Matson says a half-dozen people are working away. He has 12 desks in all.
“Our target user is a coder/programmer who needs a flexible place to work,” says Matson. “Nearly half of our members get packs of day passes that they can use whenever. We'll be focusing more on temporary/transient workers this summer.”
What do people seem to like the most about sharing space? “I think the networking opportunities,” says Matson. “They like the flow of people.”
Cost: $15 daily, monthly passes from $75 (2 days/wk) to $250 (24/7 access); Inquire: email@example.com, 140 E. Front St., 231.342.8389
Cathy Nelson was the first to dive into the coworking business model locally when she opened The Hub at Building 50 at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons in February 2012. She describes it as a place for “solopreneurs” looking for a little more permanence than some other coworking spaces available.
“I think the appeal of the space is it’s a little more established,” she says. “People aren’t renting a locker.” She has five tenants right now and space for up to 15. Because she knows “roommate issues” can arise when people are sharing spaces, Nelson vets candidates to make sure it’s a good fit for both.
Cost: $425 month-to-month only: Inquire: firstname.lastname@example.org or 231.633.2330.
When Scott Lankford finished his new space for Lankford Design Group in the Tru-Fit Trouser Building on Woodmere in Traverse City, he found himself with some extra room that he has decided to try to fill with other creative professionals.
“I describe it as a ‘side model’ to the coworking idea,” Lankford says, adding that there are bigger benefits to him than the money. “The lights are on already. It has more to do with the joy of having people around.”
So far, fellow designer Gretchen Knoblock and local artist Richard Schemm are renting space from him. “It often ends up being a collaboration … working with each other on ideas.” He has space for two more people to move in.
Cost: $300 monthly, other flexible arrangements available; Inquire: email@example.com, 1129 Woodmere Ave., Ste. E, 231.218.5924