For many remote workers, entrepreneurs and freelancers, finding the right place for an office can take some work.
Pattie Reaves, a remote worker for the web agency Alley, knows this well.
"I find it to be a real bummer to never leave my house," she says about working from home.
She's tried libraries, but you can't really make calls there. And coffee shops are fine, but "it's really a drag to carry all of your office supplies everywhere." Plus, you don't get to know anyone, she says.
"I think there are challenges to doing remote work, but a coworking space really helps with that," she says.
Coworking spaces offer small businesses and remote workers a chance to rent a desk or office in a shared work space with conference rooms and other office amenities. And despite the closure of downtown's Connect Coworking at the end of June, those workers have more options than ever.
"When Connect closed, it was a catalyst event," says Liz Pocock, the CEO of Startup Tucson, an organization that supports entrepreneurs. "Everyone was like now's the time to move forward."
This summer, at least three new coworking spaces have opened near downtown Tucson. Anexo Works and Events opened in Barrio Viejo on May 1. Brings Coworking on Scott Avenue opened June 1. And Common Workspace near the Joel D. Valdez Main Library opened July 1.
Not to mention the Community Foundation Campus coworking space for nonprofits that opened within the last year; Catalyst, a space for artists and creatives that's opening in the Tucson Mall in September; and plans existing coworking spaces have to expand.
"Tucson, like a lot of cities with universities, is concerned abut brain drain and bright people leaving," says Fiona Sands, the operations manager for Brings Coworking. "Having an attractive space that feels very Tucson and very charming and local, somewhere you would love to come in to for work, is important for keeping people."
For some, the commute, the rent and other factors don't make coworking worth it, but others appreciate the community that can develop. That's what kept Jamain Miller, business developer for the startup The Drunken Entrepreneur, coming back to Connect.
"I worked out of Connect Coworking because a lot of my other entrepreneur friends did," he says. "We got to meet each other and new and different people. Expanding my network was great, and working with other people helped me keep focus."
Gina Catalano, a founder of Anexo and La Suprema Works and Events, has seen coworking increase "the ability to collaborate, connect, contribute and be engaged in a shared work environment that helps you be more productive."
If that sounds like something you'd like to try, here are five new coworking spaces to check out.
Located on the second floor of a historic building on tree-lined Scott Avenue, this new coworking space downtown offers meeting rooms, team space and a balcony, among other amenities. Once upon a time, the whole building was a funeral home, but it now houses businesses including a barber, vintage shop and bar. "People enjoy the sense of history and the sense of quirkiness in the building," says Sands, the operations manager. "It's an inspiring place to work." Brings Coworking also has plans to bring additional office space to Broadway and Jackson Street later in the year, Sands says.
Where: 236 S. Scott Ave.
Rate: $250 month for a resident desk
Available space? Offices are full. Only a few desks left.
Visit bringscoworking.com for more information.
The 14,000 square-foot arts center in the Tucson Mall will have a variety of maker spaces for culinary arts, robotics and engineering, arts and crafts and digital arts. The center will also have performance and art gallery spaces. Coworkers will get discounted rates for teaching in the maker spaces and have access to other traditional coworking perks like conference rooms. "All of our coworkers have complementary strengths in design, fine art, writing, advertising, tourism, health and wellness and so on," says Kaitlyn Arnold, the office manager for the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the organization behind Catalyst. "We're looking for organizations that want to use the space for cultivating their own creative vision as much as having a place for sending emails and having meetings." Catalyst should open in September.
Where: 4500 N. Oracle Road at the Tucson Mall
Rate: $99 a month for a drop-in desk
Available space? Limited desks and offices available, but plenty of drop-in options.
Visit saaca.org/catalyst-maker-space for more information.
If you're all about those urban views, this space is for you. The workspace will take over the third and fourth floor of the building above The Little One. The third floor is currently open, with construction currently in progress on the fourth floor to build offices. The space has a shared kitchen, conference room, wifi, personal storage, beer, wine, coffee and more. "We're more on the west side of downtown," says Dillon Walker, a founder and partner of Common Workspace."We're in an area that has been largely government and commercial offices, ... but we want to build out more of downtown."
Where: 149 N. Stone Ave.
Rate: $350 a month for a resident desk
Available space? Yes. Offices are not open yet.
Visit workatcommon.com for more information.
Community Foundation Campus
The campus houses the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, along with some partners and affiliates. The coworking and meeting space on the bottom floor is specifically for nonprofits. The campus will also have development opportunities for nonprofit professionals, along with private meeting rooms. "One of the key goals of this new space is to provide many of the smaller nonprofits in our community, who are doing such important work but may not be able to afford professional space, a working space with business-class printers, wifi and space to bring together their board," says Tamara McKinney, the director of marketing and communications for the foundation.
Where: 5049 E. Broadway
Rate: $200 a month for a drop-in desk
Available space? Yes.
Visit cfcampus.org for more information.
La Suprema Works and Events
Although entrepreneur advising business Barrio + Co just opened Anexo Works and Events, the tiny coworking space in Barrio Viejo is already full. Catalano, a founder of Barrio + Co, says Anexo will just be the annex of the larger coworking space still to come, La Suprema Works and Events. That space could open later this year. Members will be able to go across the street between the two spaces and their courtyards. "This is one of the most magical places in the city," she says. "Sometimes I go and walk around and think, 'I get to work here.'"
Rate: $149 a month for a drop in desk at Anexo
Available space? No space in Anexo. You can get on a wait list for La Suprema.