NYC offices may not be the happening places to be on a bright sunny day, but most of the time, it’s nice to have a go-to space where you can focus or meet with team members (hey—you might even make friends with other cool entrepreneurs). Take a peek at some of the coolest new co-working spaces, many of which serve as incubators for some pretty cool NYC companies.
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For the socially conscious: Green Spaces
The spirit of collaboration at the heart of this five-year-old Tribeca outfit comes from its origins in the networking group Green Leaders. The latter group’s founders, Marissa Feinberg and Jennie Nevin, whose backgrounds are in corporate social responsibility and Wall Street, respectively, wanted to create a place where progressive companies could work in a communal environment. An eco-friendly ethos pervades the office, from the biodegradable inks in the printers to the furniture made from recycled materials. Of the 100-plus members, 75 percent are organizations focused on social and environmental change, but other types of businesses who embrace values-based business practices are also welcome. There’s currently a wait list for desks, but you can still park yourself in the open-plan laptop lounge. 394 Broadway between Walker and White Sts, fifth floor (646-801-1247, greenspacesny.com). Membership: desk $600/month, laptop lounge $400/month. Day pass $35.
For cool kids: Secret Clubhouse
The whimsical name doesn’t lie—this one-year-old spot is just as Williamsburgy as you’d imagine. We’re talking vintage synths and video games, a signed Pixies poster on the wall, a kegerator, a back patio, and the obligatory pile of Care Bears in the corner. But rest assured—people do actually get work done here. Founded by Rick Webb (of Tumblr), this locale draws tenants focused on innovation in the tech and media fields, including Hype Machine, Ooh La La Records and Stereotypes; the close 35-desk quarters lead to plenty of cross-pollination of ideas. In addition to the fun extras, round-the-clock access and an 800-square-foot lounge, SC provides members with a dedicated high-school-style locker. 117 South 3rd St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-0582, secretclubhou.se). Membership $500/month, day pass $25.
For those who want plenty of elbow room: Ensemble
Sometimes you need not just a workstation, but an honest-to-god office. Established in January of this year, this airy space has options for both individuals and businesses up to 14 people strong. Founders Bilal Khan, Daniel Chvatik and Jaspreet Singh received such overwhelming demand that they’re opening an additional floor this month, adding 80 more spots. Unlike many coworking venues, where you may find yourself rush-hour close to fellow entrepreneurs, you’ll be able to stretch out here, whether you opt for a setup in the common area or a legit, four-walled hideaway for you and your colleagues. Companies here run the gamut from real estate and tech to fashion and design, so you’re likely to find kindred spirits, no matter your passion. 1150 Sixth Ave between 44th and 45th Sts (212-757-3210, letsensemble.com). Membership: open seating for 1–6 people $450–$2,200/month, private office for 4–14 people $2,100–$5,400/month.
For visual creatives: Con Artist
This underground (literally—it’s in a basement) Lower East Side joint functions as both art gallery and workspace for a collective of more than 120 painters, sculptors, photographers, designers and the like. Once voted in (via e-mail application) by the rest of the group, members receive 24/7 access to equipment and facilities, including screen presses, a photo studio, power tools, computers and worktables, as well as the chance to exhibit a three-week solo show in the front gallery. Though the work area can currently accommodate 25 artists, there are plans to expand in the near future—and to launch an artist-in-residence program. If you’re curious and want to take a peek, attend one of the public shows (Tue–Sat 11am–6pm). 119 Ludlow St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (646-504-2323, conartistnyc.com). Membership: collective $50/year, workspace $180/month.
For perks galore: WeWork
Though this company has six locations in NYC (plus others in San Francisco and L.A.), there’s nothing big-box about it. Each outpost has a different design and vibe, thanks to cofounder Miguel McKelvey’s background in architecture and design. Reddit and Gilt City, who are headquartered in WeWork spacs, make up some of the more than 3,000 local members who enjoy amenities like free beer and coffee, plus bonuses like discounts on health care, hotels and Zipcar rentals. Each branch also hosts regular talks and panels, and helps partner entrepreneurs with investors and advisors. Space is limited, but spots are currently open at the Financial District location, which opens Thursday 1. Prices vary by location (wework.com/ny); average individual membership $450/month, private office space $600/month.