Plans for a co-working space in downtown Rochester are back on after the investor/owner's decision to return to full-time living in Rochester.
Doug Van Slembrouck, founder of ShareSpace Rochester
and owner of digital strategy company Red Pawn Creative, plans to open the shared work space, which would be outfitted with desks, WIFI, conference tables, and other office amenities, at 150 S. Elizabeth St., just a few feet away from the Clinton River Trail and directly behind Rochester Play, an indoor activity center for children and families.
For a fee, ShareSpace will give independents, freelancers, and office-less employees all the perks of an office, including meeting space, people to talk to, and no coffee shop or home office distractions.
"It's perfect for access to downtown, a brief stretch of the legs or bike ride, and great if you need to parent and work at the same time. We're now accepting memberships and visitors," Van Slembrouck says.
The plan was put on hold after Van Slembrouck's work had him commuting to Chicago throughout the week, and "I quickly realized that ShareSpace would require significantly much more attention."
In addition, a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for ShareSpace fell short. Projects that fail to meet their fundraising goal get no money.
"We did learn the community of freelance and mobile professionals in the greater-Rochester area is quite large," he says. "The supporters of our campaign were so interested in bringing co-working to the area that they still offered their original donations, essentially prepaid two-month memberships, regardless of the overall Kickstarter results. In the end however, I didn't feel comfortable accepting funds if I couldn't be there full-time to be involved in the day-to-day operations."
He says he's excited to make it work this time. His own company, Red Pawn Creative, will have its office at ShareSpace.
"I believe Oakland County needs a place for people with the flexibility to work anywhere, anytime to call home."
Source: Doug Van Slembrouck, founder, ShareSpace Rochester
Writer: Kim North Shine