‘Cowork’ Concept Ready For Growth

By John Cox
The Bakersfield Californian

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) By one estimate, the number of coworking spaces worldwide has more than doubled to about 17,000 units since 2015, and is on track to almost double again within four years.

The Bakersfield Californian

Custom clothing designer Jocelyn Dimaya knows she’s terrible with numbers. It’s part of the reason she chose to work in a semi-private office suite surrounded by small-business owners like herself.

By paying a few hundred dollars a month for a membership in a “coworking” establishment in downtown Bakersfield, she gets a modest workspace, access to a conference room where she teaches sewing classes with a business partner and — perhaps best of all — the opportunity to bounce ideas off fellow entrepreneurs nearby.

“It’s nice to have other people around who are willing to pause what they’re doing when you have a question,” she said.

Coworking arrangements, a key ingredient in the tech startup culture driving economic growth and diversification in cities across the country, may soon take off in Bakersfield.

The city’s most substantial coworking space, a 2,300-square-foot series of offices above Dagny’s Coffee Co. at 20th and Eye streets, has grown to the point it now has to turn away potential tenants.

That show of demand is leading at least two groups of investors to pursue additional coworking developments nearby.

“I definitely believe it’s the way of the future in Bakersfield,” said commercial real estate broker Jeff Andrew, a partner at Paccom Realty Advisors. He is exploring local opportunities on behalf of an organization managing more than 200,000 square feet of coworking space in downtown Fresno.

The coworking concept is as flexible as it is replicable. For less money than a traditional office building usually charges, entrepreneurs, independent contractors and professionals looking for a change of pace can select from a variety of workspace setups ranging from a chair at a table to a private suite. Sharing common space and amenities such as printers and wireless Internet helps keep overhead costs down.

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