Coworking Space

Shared Workspaces

Co-working spaces are essentially shared workspaces and are becoming more and more popular among entrepreneurs, start-ups, remote workers and small business owners alike. Co-working spaces are already popular in major urban centers but are also increasingly gaining traction in more rural areas as an alternative to working from a home office, a coffee shop and even a traditional office setting. The number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to soon cross 20,000 and reach 25,968 by 2022, an increase of 42% from 2019. This would also mean that there has been an average increase of 2,595 new spaces every year since 2015. Made popular by companies such as WeWork, these shared workspaces offer a suite of office-like amenities such as open seating or “hot desks”, offices, conference rooms, lounge areas, kitchens, coffee and more. Occupants are typically freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses who want to take advantage of flexible office space at affordable rates.

Public Interest

As part of the public input sessions and stakeholder interviews, residents in Pleasantville have voiced their interest in a creating a coworking space. A number of residents commute into their offices located throughout the Des Moines metro, but may have the option to telecommute – work from home or some other location. Another portion of respondents were people with home businesses who want a dedicated space for their business.

Coworking Lobby

Workspace Types

Private Offices

Enclosed, lockable offices for up to 4 occupants. Move-in ready with desks, chairs, and filing cabinets. Best for small businesses of 1-4 people, satellite offices, and established teams. This option would also be well suited to a business with specialized technical equipment only accessible to them and their business partners. Prices will vary based on the size of the office space.

Dedicated Desks

Choose a permanent dedicated desk in a shared office with other members. Access to premium amenities, desks, chairs, and filing cabinets. Best for remote workers, freelancers, consultants, and college/graduate students.

Flex Desks

Choose a flexible desk or tabletop in any open space. Access to premium amenities with a guaranteed spot to plug in and get to work. Best for remote workers, startups and small businesses, freelancers, consultants, and high school or college students.

Type Flex Desk Dedicated Desk Office
Monthly $75/mo $100/mo $150-450/mo
Weekly Pass $35/week
Day Pass $12/day
Student Rate $5/day
Coworking Phone Booths

Key Features and Services

Wi-Fi

High-speed internet is a key requirement of any successful co-working space. This allows members to conduct their business and work remotely with clients.

Copy/ Scan/ Print

An amenity of a business copy machine is another feature too expensive for many small businesses to invest in on their own.

Phone Booth

An amenity of a business copy machine is another feature too expensive for many small businesses to invest in on their own.

Coffee Bar/ Kitchen

Similarly, a kitchen space serves the utilitarian purpose while providing another great amenity that allows for further social interaction amongst members.

Conference Rooms

These spaces are made available for more formal meetings and presentations. A reservation system is put in place to make sure these rooms are open and available to everyone.

Patio & Lounge Areas

These spaces allow for social interaction and a respite from the workday.

Professional & Social Events

Regular events are a good way to keep members engaged and open the space to the public. These events could include open houses, business classes, speakers or panel discussions, and social events like trivia night or casual drinks after work.

Shipping Address

For some businesses, a physical address is required to receive private packages and other sensitive documents.

Lockable Filing Cabinet/ Storage

Having secure storage is an essential amenity, especially for members without dedicated offices.

Administrative Services

Depending on the size of the coworking space, a staff person may be available to perform administrative task such as collecting mail, fielding incoming calls, and running errands for members.

24/7 Access

Not everyone keeps the same hours. This provides the flexibility people need to conduct their business during the typical daytime shift or work into the wee hours of the night.

Brand Representation

Members will be provided space to display their businesses logo in a prominent location.

FEATURES DAY PASS/ 7-DAY PASS FLEX DESK DEDICATED DESK OFFICE
Wi-Fi X X X X
Access to copy/scan/print X X X X
Phone & meeting booths X X X X
Patio & lounge areas X X X X
Coffee bar/kitchen X X X X
Conference rooms 1 hour 2 hours/mo 4 hours/mo 6 hours/mo
Professional & social events X X X
Shipping address X X
Lockable filling cabinet/storage X X
Administrative services X X
24/7 access X X
Brand representation X
X = included in membership fee at no extra cost
Coworking Brand Representation

Proposed Location

A coworking space could be located in a number of available space in downtown. Our team determined an ideal location for a co-working space would be the former People’s Bank space. It already has a number of coworking amenities in place including three private offices, a small kitchen area, bathrooms, conference room, and an open floorplan for flex/dedicated desk space. Below is an overview of the projected financial cost to renovate this space and outfit with the necessary equipment and inventory to open:

  • Purchase Price: $75,000 (asking price)  
  • Renovations*: $75,000 
  • Equipment/Furniture: $10,000 
  • TOTAL: $160,000 

*Renovations includes updating painting, electrical, broadband, HVAC, and other systems. The roof also is in need of repair which could cost up to $30,000 to replace (included in estimate). 

Pleasantville Downtown Square 2

The Action Steps

ACTION

Host public meeting to discuss coworking space in Pleasantville.

WHO

Chamber of Commerce

HOW

A number of residents noted an interest in a coworking space, but there’s needs to be a more focused conversation on the potential businesses and their space needs. Feedback from this conversation will determine if a coworking space can be a privately-owned business or a non-profit intended to serve a need.

WHEN

Spring 2020

ACTION

Create a weekly meet-up group for people interested in coworking.

WHO

Chamber of Commerce, interested businesses

HOW

After a public meeting is held to better understand the interest in a coworking space, interested individuals can start meeting once a week at Smokey Row or some other public meeting space in Pleasantville. Participants would use the space to conduct their usual business with the idea that other professionals are available to collaborate with or just to be a part of a community of professionals. Once a month there should be a discussion on how this could work in permanent setting and determine each participant’s level of interest in joining a future coworking space.

WHEN

Spring 2020

FUNDS

No funding needed. Good idea to request permission of business to meet regularly if not a public setting.

ACTION

Select location to pilot coworking space in Pleasantville.

WHO

Chamber of Commerce, pilot member businesses

HOW

After convening the meet-up group for a few months, the participants interested in a permanent coworking space may consider leasing an available office for a one-year pilot business. Members could join for a reduced rate to simply cover costs of the leased space. Furniture and other equipment would also need to be procured by the members either through a furniture lease or each member being responsible for providing their own furniture. Finding an available space in the downtown area would be ideal.

WHEN

Summer 2020

FUNDS

Financial support will come directly from coworking space pilot members.

ACTION

Assess success of pilot coworking space and determine next steps.

WHO

Chamber of Commerce,  pilot member businesses

HOW

Members will be able to provide their input on what worked, what’s missing and how to proceed. Should the coworking space continue, a conversation on the ownership structure should be had including both the Chamber of Commerce and the pilot member businesses. It the concepts proves successful, a local entrepreneur may step forward to open the space as a privately-owned business.

WHEN

Spring 2020

FUNDS

USDA Rural Business Development Grants – $10,000 – $500,000 grant

Historic Tax Credits – State (25%) and Federal (20%) for qualified rehabilitation expenses

NEXT STEPS

Develop buildout concept of permanent space

Raise funds and request incentives package from City, other local economic development partners

Update the proposed business plan to match concept

Coworking Coffee

Considerations for Coworking Space

Size of Facility

To keep it manageable, start off at 2,000 square feet. Ideally, it would be nice to locate in a space with adjacent leasable space should there be a need for future expansion.

Office Space Type

Most coworking spaces have a mix of open desks, assigned desks, and private offices. Three to five private offices with a shared conference room and an open layout with open seating for additional members would be a good place to start. Note, this need can be refined through conversation at the first meeting with prospective member businesses.

Hospitality

A successful coworking space has a person dedicated to day-to-day office operations such as making coffee, light cleaning, and marketing the space. This person may be staff of the coworking space or a member with their own business while filling this role part time.

Where to find Members

Typical members include home-business, startups and other local entrepreneurs. Commuters to major employers are another potential candidate for membership as many companies provide financial support for telecommuting.

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