The Short North will soon see the opening of its first coworking community space when Sandbox opens up its doors in a few weeks. This new space will provide a flexible working environment for creative professionals, freelancers, and independent entrepreneurs who need a spot to work outside of their home office or their local coffee shop.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of coworking, then perhaps Tina & David from Sandbox can help shed some light on things.
Walker: First off, can you give me a bit of an overview about Sandbox?
David: Sandbox is Central Ohio’s first coworking community.
Tina: Yes, what we’re offering is a true coworking space that will be built on community. We aren’t an old office with rented out rooms where people come in don’t talk to each other and close their doors. Our concept will encourage collaboration and communication among our residents. Like most great ideas, the concept is very popular on the west coast and has gradually spread across the country.
David: Exactly. Coworking is an emerging trend and a new way to work. Typically, work-at-home professionals and entrepreneurs in the start-up mode are forced to work at home in relative isolation due to number of reasons (lack of capital usually the key reason), typically working out their home or at a local coffee shop with little or no resources. This approach while cost effective, often slows the growth of the start-up both creatively and functionally. Coworking allows those same entrepreneurs to work independently in a collaborative and open community, have a professional environment, access to expertise and ideas, and networks that working from home cannot provide.
Tina: What really makes us different is that we are offering a nice mix of open space as well as areas that one can move to for more privacy. We even have the “phone booth” a converted darkroom that will have a desk and a chair for those private phone conversations like talking numbers (no need to pace outside the building).
Walker: Nice! What other sorts of features and amenities does Sandbox offer?
David: Sandbox will offer full-time, part time, and daily membership rates, and large, bright open spaces that have been carefully designed to inspire communication, creativity, and most importantly, community. Dedicated workspaces, meeting spaces, Internet, video conferencing are just a few of the many resources for entrepreneurs who are members of Sandbox.
Tina: Plus nice big desks, lockable storage, printer/fax/scanner access and a fun lounge area with couches and a Nintendo Wii. We’ve got all the basics that a start-up or small business needs to be successful.
Walker: Can you tell us a bit more about the types of tenants you are looking to house, and what sort of day-to-day workers do you think will feel most at home at Sandbox?
Tina: We are looking for a diverse group of people that includes bloggers, start-ups, tech developers, entrepreneurs, designers, and even people that work remotely but for larger companies. Anyone that is used to being independent, doing the “Starbucks thing”, and done with the isolation of their basement will enjoy Sandbox.
Walker: I know a lot of people who would probably like the “try before you buy” sort of feel they might be able to get from stopping in to check it out just for a day at first. Do the “drop-ins” have full access to all amenities, and what is the current day rate?
Tina: Right now our drop-in rate is $25 per day which will give them access to everything the space has to offer.
David: Yes, they get access to all of our tools, resources, and our happy little coworking community.
Walker: Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun with this. So I guess the final question is… when does it open?
Tina: It looks like our Grand Opening will be right around April 1st. We are finalizing the details of the Grand Opening party and we’ll let you know asap. We are also opening the space up to local artists for Gallery Hop every month. We will also be available for special event rental as well as photo shoots.
Walker: Looking forward to it. Thanks for all of the details!
Sandbox is located at 853 Pearl Alley, Columbus, Ohio 43215. More information can be found online at SandboxColumbus.com.