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Author Topic: New coworking space in Astoria?!  (Read 1906 times)

Offline itsjohngee

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New coworking space in Astoria?!
« on: April 28, 2015, 01:06:09 PM »
Hi fellow Astorians,

I've been thinking about opening a coworking space in Astoria. I'm interested specifically north of Astoria Blvd, preferably a walk-able distance from the N/Q (from 31st St). I, myself WFH (work from home) 2 to 3 times a week, but have been mooching off of various coffee shops in the area, but eventually start feeling self-conscious about being a bit of a freeloader. Other people must feel this way too, right?

I think that entrepreneurs, freelancers and the self-employed could really take advantage of such a business.

There's another place in the area that I'm aware of, but that's near 36th Ave. I could serve those in the northern areas. I would offer offices, monitors, standing desks, communal work tables, conference rooms, a shared printer/copy/fax machine, free coffee (and pastries?). Would be awesome to also have this serve as an event space for networking and community events. Wine/cheese tasting, coffee workshops (and GoT screenings!). Maybe even music.

What are you guys' thoughts? An inquiring, entrepreneurial mind wants to know. And is excited at the possibilities.

Thanks all!

John
 

Offline astoriabot

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2015, 04:09:09 PM »
There's already a coworking space in Astoria.

Offline itsjohngee

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2015, 04:36:04 PM »
Hi astoriabot,

That's right, I actually mentioned that in my post. But like any type of businesses, I'm hopeful that there's room for another space farther north.

Offline daisy

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 09:02:56 AM »
There's room for more.  Manhattan is chock full of coworking spaces.  Queens has but one.  I would love to hear about more spaces in Queens in general, we could really use it.  I wouldn't be able to join a Ditmars specific one as I live on an R train route, but I welcome competition because it could mean more places might open up all over Queens, a bonus for all us freelancers.

Offline litza

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 09:45:39 AM »
I'm a freelancer in the Ditmars area and though I probably wouldn't make it a permanent work space (I'm too much of a homebody!) I think it would be great to have a space like this and I would definitely be interested in events or occasional work there.


I did just see a bunch of new signs for a coworking space posted along Ditmars, but I'm pretty sure the actual location was close to Kaufman.

Offline itsjohngee

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 11:06:08 AM »
Hi daisy and litza,

Great to hear that there may indeed be people in the community who could benefit from another coworking space in the area. I would love to create a place where people actually look forward to working in. A place focus, to make connections to benefit your business and/or friends to have a drink with.

daisy, you could always ride your bike over! If you don't have I highly recommend it! One thing on my must haves in the space is bike storage. I'm an avid biker myself and appreciate businesses who make the extra effort to accommodate those who bike to work. FYI, May is National Bike Month (:

litza, I actually live on 27th St right off Ditmars and love the area (been here a little over a year now) and "WFH" about 2 -3 times a week. But I've been starting to feel self-conscious working from 60 Beans/Ok Cafe/Locus Cafe. As much as I like them, I always feel like a bit of a free-loader, but that's me. I have a desk at home, but like to get out and see people (if not necessarily talk to people). I get a bit of cabin fever after a few hours. Cafe Bene is okay, but the music is too loud (and too generic, teen/top 40 for my taste) and I dunno, it's just not great. So I hope that once I get this place up and running, you'll come down and spend some time there!

What other things would you like to see in a new coworking/event space in the area?

Do you have an recommendations regarding location and/or specific building that could work?

J


Offline daisy

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2015, 09:33:10 PM »
Thanks for the bike suggestion but I'm probably a bit too far away to really do that - I don't actually live in Astoria anymore.  I would suggest though that you look for a large space and give ample room to the general membership.  It's often hard to find a coworking facility with a good balance between noise and privacy.   Most of us join coworking spaces for the benefits of getting out of the house, comradery, etc. but we also have to get work done.  So quiet rooms vs kitchen/lounge areas are very helpful.  It's also helpful to design the rooms so that the desks aren't all in the line of constant sight and traffic.  Most of us work on non-disclosure agreements so having eyes on visual work isn't ideal.  I would get private office space but it's out of my budget which is why coworking is a better option. 

The other items that are great to have is a conference room, telephone privacy rooms, lockers for storage, security, printer/copier/scanner, kitchen.

Offline giantcookie

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2015, 08:55:07 AM »
I would be VERY into this. I'm a freelancer who works from home quite a bit (also with kids here sometimes) and man have I thought about this a lot. I have been meaning to visit the co-working space already in Astoria, but being closer to Ditmars (60 Beans/NY Coffee & Bagel territory) it just seems like if I'm going to have to hop on the train a few stops I may as well go to Manhattan.


For me, the sense of community and networking and stuff is cool -- however, I'd love the option to have quiet space (even a little office, etc) to work in rather than big boisterous open layout. Sometimes just trying to find a decent place to sit and have a professional conference call is really challenging for me.


Hope this takes off! Very much needed around here.

Offline itsjohngee

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2015, 11:14:03 AM »
Thanks daisy. Your suggestions are on my list  :smiley:

Hey giantcookie,

I understand the need for screen privacy and will definitely address this by having options of both open layout and/or more traditional cubicle spaces. Interestingly, open layouts (I've worked in a few) aren't as loud and boisterous as you might think. I don't mind open layouts, as long as people aren't right on top of each other. That buffer of personal space is efficient for my focus.

Like you, I live near Ditmars and so my goal is to find a someplace north of Astoria Blvd and as close to 31st Street as possible. Be on the lookout in the next few months, maybe you can be our first member!


Offline hikaruhana

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2015, 12:29:59 AM »
I would so love to have a great coworking space in Astoria! I was a member of Create NY space last year before it closed (over by Kaufman) and it was a real treasure. Open seating with really interesting furniture in a space that doubled as an art gallery. Great people running it and a fun mix of fellow freelancers and self-employed folks. I made some great professional connections there. Absolutely loved biking there in the morning, putting in a full day's work, then biking home. Although I can be a homebody and there are certain types of work I prefer to do at home, there's something about going "to work" that's a nice feeling. Helps you switch off at home and enjoy downtime when you get back home.


I rarely work at coffee shops because I feel awkward about the mooch factor--usually I drop by one only when cabin fever sets in. I've been told that Queens Collective is quite good but it is pricey for my budget and seems a bit like a standard office space you might find in corporate land. Nothing wrong with that, but not necessarily what I'm looking for either. If you do open up a coworking space, @itsjohngee, you can be sure I'll drop by. In the meantime, for those looking, SpareChair is a fun option (they recently did a coworking pop-up at QED) and Freelancer's Union has free coworking space--but that's in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


Offline daisy

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2015, 09:55:19 PM »
I actually didn't like Create NY because they didn't have enough plugs or a printer.  It was casual and the owners friendly but I really needed a place that had grounded plugs and plenty of them.  When I went, I had to ask for an extension cord just to plug in my laptop and it ended up being one of those flimsy dollar store ones.  One power surge and all my work would be gone.  It was also next to a school playground, and hard to concentrate with the screaming children, lol.

Queens Collective is actually really great but more geared to those who can afford private work space or dedicated desks. They may expand at some point and perhaps then it'll have more room for regular freelancers.  It's a bummer there's only one option in the whole of Queens.  Manhattan has them by the dozens and a lot of really good ones too. 

Good luck Itsjohngee!  Keep us posted!

Offline itsjohngee

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Re: New coworking space in Astoria?!
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2015, 08:19:29 PM »
Hi hikaruhana,

Create NY had a great idea, but needed a little refining. Their prices seem a bit too low to sustain itself, which I'm just guessing is why they had to close. Queens Collective has a more "traditional" pricing structure that will likely help them thrive. And it Create NY's neighborhood, no less.

And as daisy mentioned about a lack of printer and available outlets, sounds like the may have rushed into things. I spent a couple of days at QNS Collective and quite enjoyed it. I noticed many people come in an out at random day hours, while others spent the entire day there. Offices are rented and there definitely was a sense of community.

My goal is to open by the end of the year. I'm thinking a NYE opening party :cheesy: . Where everyone contributing to this thread is invited!

In the meantime, please feel free to drop in on this thread with suggestions, comments and any general thoughts that you think could be helpful!

John


 

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