Coworking spaces manufacture cool

Dale Beede

Have you seen them? They’re called coworking spaces, and they’re proliferating across the country.

What’s a coworking space?  It’s typically 3,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet of office space divided into a combination of private offices and conference rooms as well as open work areas and places to just hang out when the work’s done.

Some will tell you coworking spaces are a Millennial thing — that is, many members of the Millennial generation prefer to work in this kind of environment. Why? Because collaboration is so easy. Moreover, such spaces offer a place to park your bike, plug in your computer and get to work. Coffee and tea are readily available. The colors are wild, and it’s, well, cool.

Grand Junction has a coworking space in the Factory. Located in a downtown office building at 750 Main St., the Factory offers an open space surrounded by offices, adjustable desks and multiple places in which to connect computers.

I’m told the Factory houses tech startup companies involved in graphic design and software development, among other ventures.

The space fosters the synergies that develop among the entrepreneurs there. Need a website for your new business?  Just talk to another member whose primary business is web design.  Members of a coworking space often assist other members with their business needs.

The Factory uses Proximity Space software that manages member billing, access, conference room reservations and joins members with other Proximity Space members around the country.

Members may use office space in other Proximity Space coworking spaces anywhere. This affords them a great way to travel for business. There’s an office waiting in every proverbial port.

ProStar Geocorp, a Grand Junction company that provides precision mapping software and services to manage underground infrastructure, also operates its offices at 760 Horizon Drive in coworking fashion.

There are private offices, but also an open space with colorful walls, a kitchen and an old Coke machine that now dispenses bottled water. The place conveys an atmosphere of “We’re all business, but we have fun doing it.”

In Fruita, a coworking space has opened on the second floor of the Fruita Civic Center at 325 E. Aspen Ave. F-Works offers space and high-speed internet access not only for local entrepreneurs, but also those visiting the area on working vacations.

Jonathan Kamins, owner of a building at 664 North Ave. in Grand Junction, also has embraced coworking.

Kamins is turning the more than 12,000 square feet that formerly housed the REI Co-op into a collaborative space for smaller companies looking for an inexpensive place in which to operate that provides high-speed internet access, modern furnishings and a safe environment.

Clearly, coworking is far more than a fad or momentarily popular trend. Coworking spaces are here to stay.