Every few months, we like to scout around for unique co-working spaces and business centers. We encourage owners and operators to pop your heads up and look around at your competition.
Work trends, geo-political situations, and popular culture give rise to rapid change. If you are not attuned to the ebb and flow of this industry and taking advantage of it, you can be sure someone else is.
Here are a few spaces that are unique in different ways, but interesting enough to grab attention and solid business.
CoCo: A Space with a History
Take an old trading floor, once occupied by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, add beautiful hardwood flooring, a modern and appealing assortment of desks, pods, and screens, and you have CoCo.
They’ve even left the old trading placards on the walls for added ambience. CoCo has two locations in Minneapolis, a location in St. Paul and their newest location in Fargo. Note the trading wall, upper right, in the photo below.
Coffee & Power: A Symbiotic Community
Pictured above right
It’s not so much the design of San Francisco-based Coffee & Power that make it interesting. To the casual observer, this space looks much like any of the coffee houses that allow folks to plop down and open up their laptops. The space is free — if you are active on their online service exchanges.
In a nutshell, that means you have to regularly offer your services gratis to others within the exchange. This is a concept that we are seeing more of, in varying iterations, throughout the co-working industry. Since one of C&P’s investors is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the ‘power’ is definitely turned on.
54 Croswell: Charm and Art
Located right in the middle of the local Gaslight Village in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, 54 Croswell appears to be more of an artists’ community than a co-working space. A rotating gallery of local artwork hangs on the walls and is open to the public. Nice way of generating synergy between local entrepreneurs and the community.
The space itself looks more like your great-great grandmother’s cottage than a workspace. But that’s part of the appeal. 54 Croswell is a nice alternative to the more plentiful uber-high tech, minimalist spaces.