Leave it to Observer friend and alum Laura Kusisto to rectify the cold shoulder The Wall Street Journal has been turning toward Silicon Alley’s very own co-working movement with some big news, potentially of the world historical variety.
WeWork has apparently locked down 74,000 sq. ft. on 175 Varick Street near the Holland Tunnel to give techie types a shared space away from home. It boasts a ridonkulous 700 desks and all the proper startup accountrement: scooters, pool tables, and video games. Guess you can only overhear startup chatter about scaling big so often before you have to attempt it yourself. Although in a space normally designed to house a law firm, it remains to be seen whether they can sustain the keep-it-nimble vibe.
WeWork’s Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey locked down the space with the idea that the co-working scene has enough momentum now to support leases of $150-$800 a month per desk. The high-end of that range sounds way rich for a startup’s blood to us, but co-working isn’t just limited to techie types anymore. Freelancers Union founder Sara Horowitz gives the paper a quote Philip K. Dick would be proud of, “Work is just increasingly becoming units of work, as opposed to careers.”
But back to those 700 desks. The next biggest thing in the New York is Sunshine Suites claim to more than 500 desks at NoHo. And San Francisco’s RocketSpace also has 500 desks. In a piece about the upcoming Coworking Europe Conference (yes, there is such a thing), Deskmag writes, “At 700 desks, WeWork will definitely be the biggest collaborative workspace in the world.”
Suddenly General Assembly’s rumored international expansion plans have some company.