UPPER EAST SIDE — For fiction writer, former Upper East Sider and entrepreneur Daniel Friedland, the lack of places to sit and write or get work done in the neighborhood was obvious.
That's why he opened "The Commons," one of the neighborhood's only, if not first, co-working spaces, he said. Located on the fifth floor of 157 E. 86th St. at Lexington Avenue, the office, which opened Oct. 5, comes complete with conference rooms, quiet writers' room, open desks and kitchen, with prices starting at $35 for a full 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. day.
"This is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in New York and everyone who wants to find a place to work has to get on a crowded subway or slog through it at home or at a coffee shop," Friedland said.
"I was looking at the area and seeing no co-working space. It is an obvious need for people to have good space they could go to to work," he said. "This space is particularly beautiful."
The office gets plenty of sun through a number of skylights and includes a 12-seat private conference room with projector and phone hookups, a large room with desks and a lounge, a writers' room, two phone booths and a kitchen — all accessible with a swipe of a passkey that can be downloaded onto a phone.
"People can expect a pleasant, sunny workspace, where they'll be able to focus, avoid the stresses of the coffee shop, the distractions of home, and the crowded 4, 5, or 6 trains," Friedland said. "We always have nice perks, La Colombe coffee, cold brew tea, and a nice selection of SerendipiTea teas and snacks. You can caffeinate yourself silly."
(Photo credit: Caryn Leigh Photography)
There are various levels of membership: daily passes are $35 for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; part-time passes for seven days a week for a month from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. are $195 per month; an open co-working pass for 24/7 access is $395 per month; and a dedicated desk with 24/7 access and a locker is $550 per month.
Snacks, beverages, and the use of a printer and scanner will all be free with purchase of any of the passes, Friedland said.
When The Commons opened last week, it already had 30 members lined up, noted Friedland, 38, who grew up on the Upper East Side and now lives in Crown Heights.
He plans to host wine tastings and acoustic nights for members at some point in the near future, he said.