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Cowork Jax extended

by: Candace Moody

Coworking, a growing national phenomenon, is coming to a downtown Jacksonville venue. In a coworking environment, independent professionals rent just what space they need: a corner, a desk, or an office. They can use the space to meet with clients, get work done without interruption, or collaborate with other like-minded professionals. It’s common practice to sign in and let others know who’s in the room and whether they’re open to collaboration and conversation.

Elton Rivas, a graduate of the University of North Florida and founder of Cowork Jax, says that the concept is a natural fit for Jacksonville, where there’s a thriving culture of independent professionals. He and a partner are putting together the venture, and Downtown Vision helped them locate a space for a demonstration project during the week of February 28. The week was so successful that the project was extended through March 11. “With almost no advertising, we attracted 65 people who reserved space during the first week,” Rivas says. “We know there’s demand for the concept.”

Cowork spaces offer “business to business membership into the collaborative community.” The space, temporarily located in the AT&T tower at 301 West Bay Street on the 4th floor, offers a taste of what the final location will have: access to professional infrastructure, cool workspace, Internet and utilities, conference rooms, and business services. The hours are 9:00 – 4:00  (or longer—some workers stayed until 6 p.m. one evening to finish projects).

When coworkers sign in, they open a laptop and sit down at any of the 20 workstations. Noise is rarely a problem; some bring noise-canceling headphones to help them concentrate. Each coworker has access to a table card for the workstation. One side says “Do not disturb” and the other side lets people know you don’t mind being approached; the invitation reads “Ready, set, co!” Rivas says that he’s overheard conversations about everything from creating apps to starting businesses. Coworkers during the demonstration week have spanned a variety of industries: coaches, CPAs, consultants and attorneys. There must be something to the Cowork Jax tagline: “Alone Time is Overrated.”

Rivas is still negotiating a permanent location for Cowork Jax, which he plans to announce in late March. Look for more information on services, membership pricing and who’s taking advantage of this new concept. To take advantage of the extended coworking week, visit the Cowork Jax website (www.coworkjax.com)and reserve a space. You can also sign up to receive updates (follow on Twitter: @coworkjax) and answer a survey about your future coworking needs.


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