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Shared Office Space Owner Wants to Help Bed-Stuy Work Together

By Paul DeBenedetto | July 18, 2014 4:43pm | Updated on July 21, 2014 8:40am
 A new, 1,200-square-foot loft co-working space in Bed-Stuy opened on Thursday.
New Co-working Space in Bed-Stuy
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The owner of a new coworking space in Bed-Stuy wants to make sure people in the neighborhood are working together.

Bed-Stuy resident Jason Johnson on Thursday unveiled Confluence Coworking, a shared office space at 544 Park Ave. Johnson said is designed to give stay-at-home workers the opportunity to collaborate in an office environment.

The business owner came up with the idea of opening in Bed-Stuy after he examined Census data for different zip codes and found that there were a large number of residents in that neighborhood who worked outside the confines of a traditional office.

"In this area, there are a lot of people working from home," Johnson said. "There are a lot of coffee shops and people work in silence. So the idea of the co-working space is to be more collaborative."

Working a day job as a human resources manager, Johnson said he started researching the "coworking movement" about five years ago, even attending a convention about the growing trend in Austin, Texas.

After moving to Bed-Stuy three and a half years ago, he began to see a need for the space as the neighborhood changed, Johnson said.

Now he hopes to open his office to at least 15 people from different industries.

"The goal is to bring people together who would not normally come in contact with each other, and find out how to make something happen," Johnson said.

The 1,200-square-foot loft industrial space boasts cubicles with large desks and chairs, as well as a conference room table that can be rented out for meetings.

Prices on the space range from $29 a day to $249 a month for Monday through Friday access. A premium membership featuring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access costs $299.

Johnson said he's keeping his day job, but hopes to make enough to keep the place operational and build relationships.

"I'm not going to get rich off of this," Johnson said. "It's going to be an opportunity to create a community."