Coworking Grows in Brooklyn


    From Carroll Gardens to Bushwick, coworking is booming in Brooklyn. The number of these shared spaces has grown rapidly in the last few years, offering amenity-rich workspaces for creative freelancers, novelists, and coders alike.

    The recipe for a coworking space is simple. Get a nifty name, lease a large commercial space, carve it up into areas of varying sizes with monthly — or even daily — rental fees, and offer lots of extras.

    WeWork — one of the world’s largest coworking companies and currently valued at $10 billion —  is doubling down on the future growth of Brooklyn coworking. But they are by no means the only name in the game. A clutch of smaller companies — Dumbo Startup Lab, Makeshift Society, Cowork|rs, and dozens more — are also in the mix.


    Photo by WeWork

    WeWork entered the Brooklyn market this year, taking space in Jared Kushner’s Dumbo Heights complex. The company also signed on to rent 220,000 square feet of an enormous new office building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. WeWork has 17 offices in New York and 32 more around the globe. The Dumbo Heights location is their newest and first in Brooklyn. It opened last week.


    Photo by DUMBO Startup Lab

    The DUMBO Startup Lab claims to be one of Brooklyn’s original coworking spaces. The company was founded in 2012 inside the renovated Grand Union Tea Company warehouse at 68 Jay Street — where Green Desk, WeWork’s predecessor got its start (and where Brownstoner is located). Startup Lab hosts web developers and entrepreneurs with a focus on “building companies.” The space is also used for networking events and classes.


    Photo via Coworkrs

    Coworkrs bills their modern spaces as the “future of work.” The growing coworking company offers “insanely fast” Internet and locations intended to suit both the needs of businesses and individuals. Their Brooklyn location — in a previously abandoned Gowanus warehouse — offers 42,000 square feet of trendy, productivity-oriented space.


    Photo by The Works

    The Works is a 24/7 space that features a full indoor kitchen, two outdoor grills, and bike storage in Carroll Gardens. A private desk at 401 Smith Street will cost you $475 a month — but that price includes access to both the indoor and outdoor projectors.


    Photo by Makeshift Society

    Makeshift Society is a two-level coworking space at 55 Hope Street in Williamsburg. We wrote about the San Francisco transplant in 2014. Membership plans include both an annual fee and a day rate. In addition to basic amenities like color printers and phone chargers, Makeshift Society also offers an innovative tool rental program and a book lending library.


    Photo by Bat Haus

    Bat Haus is open to groups as well as individuals. This Bushwick coworking space at 279 Starr Street puts on weekly social events including “Drink N’ Draw” — which provides all-you-can-drink beer and a professional artist model to sketch.


    Photo by The Brooklyn Writer’s Space

    The Brooklyn Writers Space, as its name suggests, is a coworking space devoted to creating an optimal environment for writers. With two locations in Gowanus and one in Carroll Gardens, amenities range from a roof-deck garden to a “maple wood eating bar.” Prices are also significantly lower than most at $165 a month for full-time access. (The addresses are 185 1st Street, 168 7th Street and 286 Court Street.)

    Coworking coverage [Brownstoner]
    Photo at top from Makeshift Society

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