Coworking in a Suburban Location. Can it work?

On some of the coworking message boards, there has been recent discussions on coworking in Suburbia vs: Urban settings.  Can coworking work in a bedroom community, or does it require the density offered by a city and enjoyed by spaces like Independents Hall and Citizen Space?

The Fredericksburg Metropolitan Area has a population of about 300,000.  The area includes Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline Counties.  We are located 50 miles south of Washington, DC and 50 miles north of Richmond, VA.

Many of the traditional coworking spaces are located in major metropolitan/city centers such as Philadelphia, NY, NY, San Francisco, etc..  These spaces are often wide open, collaborative places that are filled with younger independent technology oriented members.

Coworking can work in a bedroom/suburban setting but I don’t think the traditional open coworking model works in the suburban setting.

Businessplayce is set up as a Hybrid Model.  We are part open coworking space and part business incubator. Business Playce has 6 private offices, 1 large shared office (with 4 desks) and two open space areas with desks for up to 8 users.  We also have 2 conference rooms with contemporary furnishings, flat screens, white boards, projectors, etc….

While many traditional coworking spaces derive their revenue from setting up 20 desks and charging a monthly/daily fee, Business Playce get’s its revenue primarily from the private offices.  We screen the members who have private offices to ensure that they are open, accessible and will contribute to the vibe of the space.   These members for whatever reason still want the ability to close a door and have a physical office, albeit without the overhead.

Other profit centers include our two conference rooms.  By renting out the conference rooms, we provide an affordable but needed service to the community, while exposing people to the concept of coworking.  Many of our members actually learned about Business Playce while attending a meeting or conference at Business Playce.  We also offer a service for people who work at home but want a physical address where packages/mail can be delivered and they can drop in for a meeting.

Our community is growing and people love the concept!  It is however a different from coworking in an urban enviornment.  The concept transcends location and the our stated purpose of providing a “Cafe like community/collaboration space for developers and independent workers looking for part time peers”, is the same as our urban counterparts, such as Independents Hall, Citizen Space, New Work City, etc..

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3 Comments

  1. WayneNo Gravatar
    Posted May 16, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    As a Mary Wash grad (2001) and founder of OfficeLAB up in New England, I definitely think there is huge potential for a suburban model… and especially in Fredericksburg where commuters are spending way too much time driving up to DC. Congrats with the space – I’ll be visiting next homecoming. :)

  2. Jeremy PNo Gravatar
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Not only can it work, but it makes more sense than urban co-working if you think about it.

    Telecommuting isn’t going away. If companies contract out to suburban co-working facilities, they will offer their employees a more productive atmosphere and risk less loss of productivity that comes from sitting around home with little to no accountability.

  3. GlendaNo Gravatar
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, let alone the
    content!

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