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■ Business Trends: REAL ESTATE


Coworking spaces S


Tenants like the vibe in sharing offices by Richard Foster


tephen Moegling could have worked from his Richmond home when he took a job last


year with Minnesota health-care mar- keting agency, Hailey Sault. But like a growing number of


remote workers, Moegling decided to join a coworking office space. He pays a monthly fee to share a professional of fice environment with coworkers from a variety of businesses, ranging from small startups to nonprofits to global companies. “I really like it because I still have


a lot of that engagement with people in an office environment, which I think is just healthy, to have that small talk here and there at the water cooler,” says Moegling, who works out of an office at Gather, a Richmond coworking company with three area locations. “But when it’s time to really get down to work, I can … close the door to my office and do it.” In recent years, the popularity


of coworking spots has soared. The number of coworking spaces globally is expected to increase 16 percent annually through 2022, according to research sponsored by Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC). The trend also is reflected in


Virginia. Chains such as New York- based WeWork and McLean-based MakeOffices offer flexible workspaces with a variety of amenities aimed at “gig economy” freelancers, consultants and independent contractors. Smaller coworking companies also are setting up shop around the state.


Photo by Matthew Brown


Stephen Moegling (left) is a tenant at one of three Gather locations in the Richmond area. James Crenshaw is Gather’s managing partner.


$250 to $500 a month The largest local coworking


space in Richmond, Gather was founded in 2014 and has more than 500 members who pay monthly fees ranging from $250 to more than $500 for 24/7 access to the facilities. Some just need an available cubicle; others pay for a dedicated desk or a suite of offices. Internet and utilities are included and members have access to conference rooms at any of the Gather locations. For small businesses and startups,


coworking offers considerable savings in time and money, says James Cren- shaw, managing partner at Gather. “Creating an office is its own workload and really [businesses


www.VirginiaBusiness.com


would] much prefer to just be focus- ing on their core competency,” he says. “They didn’t get into their business to open an office, right? Whereas, that’s what we do. That’s our specialty. So they can focus on running their busi- nesses and not have to worry about setting up an office.”


Jeweler finds new home Since it opened in July 2017,


Norfolk’s Percolator has opened four coworking spaces serving about 55 member companies, including David Nygaard Jewelers, whose namesake owner decided to close his longtime retail storefront in favor of working out of a Percolator office and seeing clients by appointment only.


VIRGINIA BUSINESS 71


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