(Cowork Frederick Expansion Series – Part 2)
There’s a lot of good stuff to read here.
If you’re more of a “see it” person, join us for a sneak peak of our expansion June 9 .
Last time we talked about Cowork Frederick’s expansion, we journeyed back to Cowork Frederick’s beginnings and looked at what we learned in the ten years that followed and the factors driving our expansion. In 2018, we secured the building at 120 E Patrick St, right next door to our current location and began walking the path that would lead to fulfilling our vision for, not just a bigger coworking space, but a better one.
It took a while to figure out the best way to fit our vision into the walls of our two buildings, and to get the necessary approvals and funding to fulfill that vision. Midway through, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and, for a minute, we considered whether an expansion still made since. But, boldness, tenacity, and resilience are among our core values, so we pressed on. In late 2021, renovations began.
Before the doing is the planning. Before the planning is the vision, the mental picture of the end goal, the dream that carries us through the inevitable challenges. Our vision is shaped by our nearly 10 years of experience providing space for a thriving coworking community and the valued input from the members of that community.
Picture a place that:
- beautifully blends an historic, home, and office vibe.
- has a variety of seating options: comfy sofas, desks, lounge chairs, big tables, etc.
- has a large eat-in kitchen where people can gather around meal or a cups of coffee or tea.
- has phone rooms and nooks to tuck into for private conversations.
- has dedicated class/meeting rooms, available 7 days a week.
- has offices for those who need privacy for their work.
- has a covered patio, big deck and even bigger yard for outdoor work and play.
- has sleeping rooms for people looking for a place to stay and also to do their work.
- is full of locally created art.
- is stocked with sustainable (organic, fair trade, recycled, local) products.
- feels like home.
- sitting around tables, productively working on their laptops.
- hanging out, laughing, sharing stories, while burgers (meat & plant-based) are on the grill.
- preparing a meal together then sharing it at a big table.
- settling in at their new desk, decorating the walls around it and making it their own.
- doing morning yoga.
- getting a chair massage.
- learning from each other in “show & tell”, “brain boost”, and other events.
- standing in front of a white board, collaborating on an idea.
- doing a work sprint together in one of the meeting rooms.
- practicing a presentation or pitch and getting feedback from others.
When renovations are complete, we will move our shared office space to 120 E Patrick St, allowing us to dedicate 122 E Patrick to private and semi-private offices, meeting rooms, and event space. With that move, we will roughly double the square footage of coworking (shared office) space. More important, it will allow us to expand our offerings in ways we couldn’t in our smaller building.
To our existing meeting rooms, work desks, break rooms, workshops, and networking events, we will add gathering spaces aimed at facilitating connection between members of the Cowork Frederick community: spaces to play games, have conversations, brainstorm, and share meals.
120 E Patrick will also have furnished “coliving” micro apartments. Each will have a private bathroom and a small open living/kitchen area. Phase 1 of our renovations will create 2 studio and 2 one-bedroom micro apartments. Why “micro”? It’s a better use of space and, while people definitely need a private haven to relax and recuperate, we encourage people to leave the isolation and join others in common areas. Anyone staying in apartment also has access to the shared space below, with its big kitchen, deck, comfy seating, desks, etc. Read more about that in “What is coliving” below.
Wait – What is coworking?
We’ve been tossing around the term “coworking” and we know the term is being used for everything from a bunch of private offices inside a building to network cafes, so before we go on, let’s take a moment to explain what that word means to us.
Cowork Frederick provides work space for freelancers, teleworkers and entrepreneurs and creates ways for them to come together to work, share ideas, and support each other. Like any office, Cowork Frederick provides the essentials needed to work: desks, chairs, powers, internets, printers, etc. But Cowork Frederick is much more than a place with office equipment. It’s people side-by-side, connecting, learning, growing, working, and having fun.
“Coworkers” pay a monthly service fee that gives them access to a variety of work spaces and meeting rooms, as well as workshops, classes, and networking events. Work space, utilities, high-speed internet, plus things like the use of shared printers, break room coffee, and events are included in the monthly fee.
There is a strong culture of participation and contribution, of connecting and helping each other and on having a positive impact on Frederick. We share a set of values, defined by the members of our community. Cowork Frederick isn’t a place people work; it’s something people are a part of.
What is coliving?
The term “coliving” showed up a few years after “coworking” became popular. The term has become a trendy label for people cohabitating in some fashion, from individuals living as roommates to apartment buildings with amenities aimed at entrepreneurs and digital nomads.
Just as coworking isn’t just about desks, to us, coliving is communal in nature. It’s much more than a place to live. Coliving connects people. It emphasizes community, collaboration, sharing, and intentional living. It encourages house members to be creators and active participants in the world around them. As with coworking, the primary draw is “finding your tribe”, making connections, and being part of a community.
Coliving offers flexibility and “plug and play” simplicity. People can stay as little as a week or as long as a year, paying a service fee for a furnished sleeping room, utilities, and access to the coworking space below with all its offerings, including events. It’s kind of like a hotel + summer camp mashup.
Bonus: Through increased density and sharing of resources, coliving is also inherently environmentally friendly.
Our plans put coworking and coliving under one roof (120 E Patrick St), as one community, with those staying in the micro-apartments also having coworking memberships and all the amenities that come with it. Meeting rooms, mailboxes for those who opt in for mail service, and offices (private and semi-private) will be next door at 122 E Patrick St. All members of our coworking community, including those in offices, will have access to both buildings and all that they provide.
Our first building, at 122 E Patrick, will provide dedicated meeting rooms and event space on the first floor and private and semi-private offices on the second floor.
Our coliving sleeping rooms will be an extension of our coworking offering, designed for people who want a more immersive experience, living and working part of a community. Much like our coworking offering, we will offer it as a service, inclusive of space, utilities, supplies, events, etc., not as a lease of space.
120 E Patrick Floor Plans
BASEMENT LEVEL – COWORKING
The daylight basement, with its own entrance from Patrick St, will have two large shared work rooms with desks, two restrooms, a break room, laundry facilities (for the upstairs apts), and phone booths. Just outside the break room will be a large covered patio – a possible location for a future ping pong table.
2nd & 3rd FLOORS – COLIVING
The 2nd & 3rd floors will have micro-apartments. Each floor will have a one-bedroom and a studio apartment. Each apartment has its own bathroom and small kitchen. The studio has a sun porch.
Coworking and coliving come together on the first floor. Work meets play and daily life in a space with desks as well as casual seating (sofas, comfy chairs, around big tables, etc.). Big tables in the dining room will provide ample room for shared meals and will double as work space outside of mealtime. A large community kitchen provides a space for meal prep and a place to sit and enjoy a cup of a coffee or tea. French doors lead out onto a big deck with it’s own seating and a grill for cookouts.
Sneak Peak: May 19
Our plan, pending the completion of renovations, is to expand into our new space in June. Want a sneak peak? Join us May 19 at 5:30 pm .