Brooklyn Creative League, one of the city’s first and largest co-working spaces, just announced a 5,000 square foot expansion of its Gowanus location, as well as a second location to open later this year in Bed-Stuy. That means lots more affordable desk space for the borough’s many freelancers, independent workers, and small-shop companies sick of going stir-crazy working from coffee shops and cramped apartments.
Brooklyn Creative League’s founders, husband-and-wife freelancer duo Neil Carlson and Erin Carney, started the business to meet their own needs for an office space and community of professionals that was conveniently close to home. They discovered there’s staggering demand for such space in Brooklyn: Since opening in 2009 on two floors of a converted industrial loft space at 540 President Street, Brooklyn Creative League has operated at capacity, with more than 1,000 members. Waitlists for membership are long; sometimes interested workers get turned away. The expansion–which will include soundproof meeting rooms with recording and teleconference equipment; standing desks; desk clusters for teams and small companies; and “quiet zones”–aims to abate that trend.
Unlike those of other co-working spaces that cater specifically to startups, BCL’s community is a mix of small companies and independent workers, including authors and journalists (Vanity Fair editor Sarah Ellison and Guardian writer Oliver Burkman are members); graphic designers; photographers; lawyers; and marketing execs. More than 50% of members are moms and dads who want the flexibility to spend more time with kids but also want a place to escape from diaper-changing and lunchbox-packing and focus on work. “We’ve especially seen a surge of working moms join BCL as they reconnect to the workforce,” Carney said in a statement.
Compared to the ~$2 daily coffee fee you pay for working in your local cafe, BCL’s not cheap–a part time desk (40 hours a month) costs $225–but apparently that’s the price of not having to fight for a good spot or listen to a bad Pandora station or worry about your stuff getting stolen when you get up for more coffee.
BCL is now taking membership applications for full- and part-time desk space, available in June 2015. Those interested in applying for membership can visit brooklyncreativeleague.com/join.