Co-working in Brooklyn: Where, Why and How

By Heidi Patalano on May 15, 2013 7:21am 

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 Work alongside other full-time freelancers in Brooklyn.
Co-working in Brooklyn
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BROOKLYN — Coffee shops are so overrated!

After jockeying for a seat near a power outlet, spending a ridiculous amount to use the snail-paced Wi-Fi, and feeling chained to your possessions lest you get relieved of them while in the restroom, you may come to realize the coffee shop is no longer a viable option for a full-time freelancer.

No surprise, then, that co-working spaces have taken off, guaranteeing a secure spot for fast Wi-Fi and the opportunity to network with fellow creative professionals.

DNAinfo New York rounds up some of the best workspaces in the what is arguably considered New York City's most creative borough.

The Yard
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Operating Ethos: The Yard’s mission is to provide a creative and productive environment for people to grow and cultivate their business.”

The Skinny: Housing a wide variety of businesses, The Yard is a great place to connect talents of various industries.

“Where we come in on a curatorial level is that we try to make very personal introductions as needed,” creative director Andy Smith said. “Somebody is launching a new business and they need a publicist, I have a couple that I can recommend here, in house.”

Day/Hours: 24/7 for office renters, Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for co-working spaces
Rates: $395-$1,195/month for private office rentals, $95-$295/month for co-working spaces
Amenities: Wi-Fi, conference room space, reception service, phone and voicemail, bike parking, unlimited coffee, tea and water and access to member events that include screenings and lectures. More amenities apply to larger rental packages.

Bat Haus
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Operating Ethos: “Bat Haus believes that openness and the sharing of resources far outweigh the alternatives.”

The Skinny: On nights and weekends, Bat Haus can be rented out for anything from a music video shoot to a baby shower, a cardio workout class or an art exhibition.

It’s also used as an artist and flea market space in the warmer months. Co-founder Natalie Chan said the workday crowd was relaxed but professional and respectful of each other.

Days/Hours: Monday — Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Rates: $10/day, $99/month for three days a week, $149/month for full time
Amenities: Shared kitchen, Wi-Fi, office services, discounts on classes if you’re a monthly subscriber

Room 58
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Operating Ethos: "[Room 58] is a great quiet environment for writers of all genres. But for those who also need traditional office capabilities, Room 58 is ideal," said Scott Adkins, co-founder of the Carroll Gardens and Park Slope's Brooklyn Writers Spaces (BWS) and partner in the Room 58.

The Skinny: Room 58 is writer-focused, and "laid-back serious," Adkins said.

"We are not a traditional co-working space, in the sense we provide a quiet, no talking room for writers," he said. "This room has eight carrels. We do have a phone room with five divided desks where writers can conduct interviews and take care of the business side of writing ... The lounge is a place where writer members meet one another as well as the visual artists."

Days/Hours: 24/7 secure access to members
Rates: Prices from $360 per quarter (plus a one-time $65 initiation fee) to $90 per month depending on whether you chose a full time or part time arrangement. 
Amenities: Wi-Fi, fax, printer, research materials, file storage

Brooklyn Creative League
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Operating Ethos: “Brooklyn Creative League is a network of independent-minded professionals: writers, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, architects, marketing gurus, journalists, web developers, bloggers, communications professionals, illustrators, designers, and others who understand that 'Genius needs to tinker in a collective shop.'"

The Skinny: Neil Carlson said he and wife Erin Carney co-founded the Brooklyn Creative League in the hope of fostering collaboration.

“We think of our space as an ecosystem for small businesses,” he said. “A lot of our members are business service professionals, so consultants, architects, web developers, some new media folks and non-profits as well. What we’ve found is that those people really benefit by being in that business ecosystem. I think that’s a major reason why people are joining shared … in a co-working space, that sort of collaboration and interaction is really encouraged.”

Days/Hours: Full-time 24/7, part time 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week
Rates: $1,305-$1,500/month for full-time office rental, $495-$575/month for full-time workspace rental, $225-$350/month for part-time workspace rental
Amenities: Wi-Fi, free printing, reception area, mail and delivery service, large conference room, kitchen and lounge

Greenpoint Coworking
Neighborhood: Greenpoint
Operating Ethos: “Our goal is to build and nourish community while fostering individual work. Our space is a platform where members can alleviate the isolation of working from home, share ideas, and team up with one another.”

The Skinny: Founder Sara Bacon founded the co-working space after her own isolating experience of freelancing from home. "I love working for myself and running a business," she wrote. "But I felt a huge void at the lack of information and social sharing that happens when you’re part of a studio or firm."

Days/Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rates: $35/day, $240/14 days a month, $460 24/7 a month
Amenities: Varies depending on membership level: free coffee, tea and snacks, access to a full kitchen, printer, scanner and fax access, Wi-Fi, discounts on business services

Also check out additional co-working spaces DUMBO Startup Lab, The Grind and BrooklynWorks 159.

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