(Photo by Brady Dale)
Vicrum Puri, the founder of BrooklynWorks at 159, echoed a friend of his when he told us that he thinks that coworking spaces are going to be like gyms one day. Every neighborhood will have one.
It’s a question we’ve been talking a lot about at Technical.ly. With coworking spaces opening fast (just look at our coverage in the last few weeks), is the market oversaturated? Is there a coworking bubble? Or is the sector only catching up with demand coming from our growing gig economy?
Puri’s opinion on the matter is clear: “We’re definitely not at peak small office.”
Puri identifies the term “coworking” a bit more with the tech economy, with accelerators and incubators. His business is really focusing on small businesses. “There’s more than a hundred businesses just working out of here,” he said.
BrooklynWorks at 159 is a space in South Slope that he founded because he wanted a place for his business. “If I’d gotten an office by myself,” Puri told us during a visit to the space Tuesday, “it would be just as lonely as working from home.”
He founded the space two years ago and this year it expanded onto a third floor, one that allowed BrooklynWorks to greatly increase service to people who wanted to use the space but didn’t want to rent a permanent spot. They call it flexspace.
Puri emphasizes giving people a setting that feels professional. He talks about how these days a lawyer or an accountant doesn’t need to be part of a big firm to make a living, so they set up their own shop but they want an office with a door they can lock and one they can access at the same time. On the other hand, they don’t want to sign a commercial lease. Every space at BrooklynWorks at 159 is month-to-month.
It has that professional feel. It’s nice. It’s attractive.
There’s a bit of fun, with rotating artwork and some modern decor picks, but it’s also grown up. Lots of people are focused all over the place. There’s different kinds of worksites, plus some couches and kitchens for taking a break in.
Puri himself adds something to the space’s vibe. Talking to him, he is a calm presence for a founder in the entrepreneurial world. He makes you feel like things are going to keep moving forward.
He describes how he views his job, and that of his two-person staff, as helping make connections between members and maintaining the productive atmosphere they feel like they have attained.
Success for Puri, he said, is his members getting a lot of work done.
It’s important for him, as well. “I’m like the Hair Club for Men guy,” he told us, “I’m not only the president of the company. I’m also a client.” He runs his construction business out of the space, the one that motivated him to look for an office.
BrooklynWorks membership has a lot of levels. From drop-in memberships for the open space, to virtual offices, a dedicated (but unsecured) desk and offices in every size from one person to one that holds ten people. The lowest-priced ongoing membership with access to the space is $225/month. One option Puri says a lot of people like is their $100 punch card. For $100, you get ten days in the common space, and it never expires. So you only pay for what you use.
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