Seven Reasons Why We Need Coworking Spaces in the Suburbs
Maybe we’re a little biased, but we believe more coworking spaces need to forgo being downtown or in their business hub, where things are more expensive, and open new facilities out in the suburbs. We believe strongly in building coworking spaces in the suburbs as a way to combat traffic, wasting time, and overcrowding.
Since most entrepreneurs and remote workers live out in the suburbs anyway — at least the ones over 30 years old — why not put the coworking space where they are, instead of making those people come all the way downtown, which is already crowded and saturated with other coworking spaces.
Here are seven reasons why coworking spaces in the suburbs are a better choice for your tenants, your partners, and your investors.
Parking is usually free
Our Neoware coworking space is at the Oviedo Mall, which is northeast of Orlando. And because it’s the mall, parking is free. That means $0. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
Downtown parking in Orlando is $2/hour, which can be as much as $80 per week if you stay there for the entire day. Even if you get a parking pass, you’re still looking at $150 – $200 per month.
That could be the cost of rent at one of the coworking spaces in the suburbs. You can rent a hot desk in our space for half that amount, and the parking is free.
Rent is cheaper
Downtown real estate is always expensive. Compare the costs for a 4,000 square foot office space in a downtown high-rise versus a large strip mall or shopping mall space. We were fortunate to get into the Oviedo Mall as it was working to redefine itself to a “Live, Eat, Shop, Have Fun” space. It has also become the only location in Seminole County providing COVID vaccines.
There are probably suburban malls that are willing to make you a deal to give you competitive pricing to come to their mall. If you can’t find a mall, maybe there’s a strip mall with empty retail space. (Quick hint: Find one with a decent food court and/or good restaurant choices nearby.)
No toll roads.
There are toll roads around Orlando, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New York City, and St. Paul, Minnesota, to name a few.
It costs roughly $5 per day in tolls to get from here in Oviedo to Downtown Orlando. And in the parts of Orlando where there are no tolls roads (like I-4), the traffic is so terrible, you’ll spend extra time waiting and/or be at greater risk for accidents.
For the roughly 1,000 remote workers within a 5-mile radius of our office, this can be a real money saver. Another way coworking spaces in the suburbs help them save money is. . .
Cuts down on gas usage, saves wear and tear on your car
Depending on where you live, your house could be as far as 25 – 30 miles from the downtown area. That can be as much as 1 or 2 gallons of gas per day, not to mention the quarterly need for oil changes and tuneups because you’re driving more than 1,000 miles in a month.
We’ve all been driving a lot less lately, but for those people who are returning to work, a suburban coworking space could cut their driving by as much as two-thirds of their regular commuting distance which saves on gas, maintenance, and general wear and tear on their cars.
Save as much as two hours a day in commuting.
We’ve talked to plenty of people who spent at least an hour in their car commuting to their downtown office. Working from home this past year has helped them save two hours per day by no longer commuting. That gives them more time to spend with their families, working on side projects, learning new skills, or even just sleeping in a little longer.
Suburban driving can be a little busy, but driving five miles is easier than driving 25 miles. And because you’re closer to the office, you can leave later when traffic has died down. No more sitting in traffic from 7 to 8 AM. Head out to the office at 7:45 and you can still get there in plenty of time.
No need to be “in the middle of the action” anymore.
Honestly, we’re sort of over the need to be “where the action is.” Not only do we have mobile phones, Zoom calls, and a plethora of coffee shops and cafés for people to meet, but entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of cramming themselves into packed coworking spaces these days.
Social distancing requirements and the increase in people working from home, there’s no “middle of the action” anymore. The action is wherever you make it.
If someone wants to meet with you, you can always go to their downtown offices, pay for the tolls, and pay for the parking, but at least it’s only for a couple hours, not a daily struggle. And if you want someone to come from downtown to meet with you, they may appreciate driving in lighter traffic and having free parking with plenty of space.
Downtowns are usually saturated anyway.
You can’t swing a dead cat in Orlando without hitting a coworking space. There are at least eighteen coworking spaces in downtown Orlando right now. And they’re all fighting for the same group of entrepreneurs. There are so many of them, they’ve commoditized the coworking industry.
And they all have the same drawbacks for suburban-living entrepreneurs: parking costs, toll costs, heavy traffic, and higher rent prices.
That’s great if you live in downtown Orlando. You can walk a few blocks to your coworking space, or catch a Lyft if the day is especially hot.
But to the suburban entrepreneurs, all those coworking spaces begin to look alike, and they don’t offer anything substantially different. Coworking spaces in suburbs may look just like downtown coworking spaces, but the cost of using them is so much less.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating coworking spaces in the suburbs, or you’re especially interested in space at Neoware Studios, please visit our website at NeowareStudios.com.
Photo credit: Free-Photos (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)