Inside South Slope's BrooklynWorks at 159, home to 100+ businesses - Technical.ly Brooklyn

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Dec. 5, 2014 11:06 am

Inside South Slope’s BrooklynWorks at 159, home to 100+ businesses

A professional coworking space with just a bit of funk. BrooklynWorks is focused on having a wide range of members, not just the tech set. Its founder believes demand for small offices is only going to grow.

Looking out over South Slope from one of BrooklynWorks at 159's hangout areas.

(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?

BrooklynWorks 159

Space where members have dedicated but unsecured desks. (Photo by Brady Dale)

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.

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BrooklynWorks 159

BrooklynWorks at 159 Founder Vicrum Puri. (Photo by Brady Dale)

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.

BrooklynWorks 159, in South Slope.

The flexspace area. (Photo by Brady Dale)

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.

There are several companies running startups or doing tech-related work, such as Lineapple (which we wrote about), Flittr (which just had a big angel round), ThinkUp and Imatchative.

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.

BrooklynWorks 159

Telephone booths, if members in the flexspace need to make long calls. (Photo by Brady Dale)

BrooklynWorks 159

Just off the smaller conference room, on the floor above the flexspace floor. (Photo by Brady Dale)

BrooklynWorks 159

There’s a kitchen on each floor. (Photo by Brady Dale)

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Outside the building, on 20th Street. It’s near an R stop at 17th. (Photo by Brady Dale)

BrooklynWorks 159

Decor at the entrance to the hallway of offices on the first floor. (Photo by Brady Dale)

BrooklynWorks 159

An upstairs hall of offices. (Photo by Brady Dale)

BrooklynWorks 159

BrooklynWorks at 159 may be the only coworking space in the city with a record store inside it. (Photo by Brady Dale)

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