Workhouse Tampa FL
 
The Proximity Network is always growing, and this week we’re welcoming Workhouse in Tampa, Florida. We caught up with manager Brant Peterson to learn more about Workhouse and how they’re bringing a locally owned, affordable alternative to coworking in Tampa.
 
Why did you decide to open a coworking space?
Our coworking space is brand new. We are officially opening on September 20th, 2019. We noticed a gap in space options offered in the Tampa area. While larger coworking operators began flooding the market there was a lack of locally-owned and affordable alternatives focused on housing younger companies. In conversations with local startups and startup/tech incubators, we learned that there were no particularly attractive options for these companies as they outgrew their incubator and began looking for workable space options. Our focus is to provide a landing pad for these growing local startups – offering them the collaborative environment and flexibility they are used to with an upgraded amenity package, all at an affordable price point so that they can focus on growing their businesses.
 
Tell us about your space. What amenities do you have? What makes it special?
Our space is located in an old warehouse in a traditionally industrial neighborhood of Tampa, FL. That being said, the location is great – just across the river from downtown Tampa, behind the University of Tampa and the School of Entrepreneurship, and in between the two best startup incubators in town. The space totals about 8,000 square feet with 23 private offices and a large double ceiling lobby area with shared workspace, 20-foot ceiling conference room, and a break area. The neighborhood around us has been rapidly transitioning for the past 10 years. We’re seeing new apartments and retail replace older industrial properties and we’re happy to be part of that mix.
 
What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space?
The people and companies I get to deal with on a daily basis. We house a diverse group of young, creative companies that are constantly pushing boundaries. It is fun to be a part of the growth of these companies and feel the energy they bring to the space and the community.
 
What has been the most surprising/unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?
The build out. Construction work at the height of a market is always difficult. Labor is in short supply and everyone is busy. Timelines get extended and opening dates pushed back. It is controlled chaos but at some point, you have to come to terms with this and do your best to enjoy the ride!
 
What’s your favorite story about one of your members?
Our first member company moved their entire 12-person team over from a premier local startup incubator just after receiving seed funding. They were rapidly outgrowing their space at the incubator and needed a solution. We were ecstatic that they chose our space as their new home. This was a big proof of concept for us and a confirmation that we were filling an important niche in the market.
 
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open a space?
Just go for it. There will be kinks and hurdles and challenges and nothing will come out exactly how you had envisioned it but in the end, when it all comes together and you are able to create value for growing companies and the community, it is all worth it.
 
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