The best co-working spaces are about more than providing reasonably inexpensive office space and services to small, often new businesses. The best co-working spaces have a mission.
The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is currently putting the finishing touches on (c)space, “focused on bringing together, under one roof, mission-aligned individuals and nonprofit organizations working to improve the health and quality of life of Kentuckians.”
COO Mary Jo Shircliffe and Communications Director Doug Hogan gave us a tour of the nearly completed space.
It’s 5,000 square feet with 13 private offices that accommodate one or two people and 6 desk spaces in the common areas. There are a lot of break-out spaces in the office: a single comfy chair with a laptop desk, a restaurant-style booth, a small table surrounded by stools. There is also a large eat-in kitchen area and a 12-person conference room, a storage room and lockers.
Shircliffe says she’s excited by the idea of people “rubbing shoulders with people doing similar-type work.” The word “synergy” comes up a lot.
She says she’s had interest from a group from Frankfort who work in Louisville two days a week. “Right now they work at a Panera.”
Shircliffe says, “We want people to get out of Starbucks, get out of Panera.”
And actually, (c)space’s public areas kind of feel a little like a Panera or a Starbucks, so people with “coffeeshop offices” will feel right at home.
(c)space is located in an office park (so many geese!) off of La Grange Road in a building that the Foundation purchased in Aug. 2012 and moved into in March 2013. The building was a bank foreclosure and ended up being an excellent investment for the Foundation; even though they only have one tenant — IT firm, Mirazon — it’s net even. They still have two vacant suites.
The Foundation already has a Conference Facility available for health-related non-profit organizations or organizations that provide support to those organizations. There is a large conference room that will accommodate 100 people classroom-style. They also have a 20-person board room. Both rooms have video-conferencing capability.
There’s an application process to get an office at (c)space. One of the questions asked is “How do you collaborate?” It’s important because in a co-working space you have to “play well with others,” says Shircliffe. Companies have to be mission-aligned with the Foundation or be people who support non-profits like the Foundation.
Rent will be a sliding scale but “at or below market value,” says Shircliffe.
Check out (c)space during their open house on May 19 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at 1640 Lyndon Farm Court, Suite 100. For whatever reason, Google Maps incorrectly locates 1640 Lyndon Farm Court. Just enter the street name without the number, and you’ll get there.
Watch out for the geese.