Coworking’ business model rapidly expanding in Nashville
Like many cities, Nashville’s downtown was hit hard by the recession, leaving floor after floor of office space vacant.
John Hussey and his daughter Kailey started a revolution in downtown Nashville by taking long-dormant office space and making it thrive again.
The father-daughter team launched CoLab in early 2010, a mix of coworking spaces and affordable office suites on the first floor of the Wells Fargo building at 230 4th Ave N. ‘Coworking’ is geared to freelancers, small business owners and creative professionals who work from home using laptops and cell phones, an increasingly large professional demographic.
The first floor quickly filled to capacity and now has a waiting list. In January, the team plans to expand co-working to two additional floors. The team has filled four vacant floors in a similar Orlando building and has plans to expand to Tampa and some other Southern cities.
CoLab’s office environment has a twist. Its office suites aren’t just inexpensive; they are interconnected. Tenants, who are called members, share amenities and basic services such as Internet and coffee are included. Lounge areas, conference rooms, shared white boards and even a ping-pong table suit a wide range of creative work styles.
“The economic crisis hit many professionals like a flood,” said owner John Hussey. “They were downsized and either went solo or started a new business. Many struggle to conduct business with their laptops and cell phones at coffee shops or from home. They still want interaction with other professionals. What we offer are the amenities of an office without the exorbitant price tag and burdensome lease.”
Rental rates for coworking spaces are low – from $79.95 a month for a two-day-a-week desk to $149.95 a month for five days in the shared area. Small offices start at $375 a month.
“Coworking might not be a household word yet, but I predict it’s going to be,” said Kailey, Nashville’s General Manager. “We have discovered a new way to work and we’ve created thriving community in one of the coolest parts of downtown Nashville that’s right next to the historic Arcade and Printer’s Alley.”
For more information, visit www.nashville.colabusa.com