Office Space News
Published February 24th, 2011 by Jennifer LeClaire
Downtown Coworking Week? That’s what I thought when I heard that Jacksonville was celebrating an event by that name. I mean, Jacksonville is not the first place that comes to mind when I think of coworking.
I suppose this event works to help change that. Downtown Vision and the Downtown Improvement District has partnered with CoWork Jax, an initiative led by Zero Confines to develop a permanent coworking program in Jacksonville, to hold the event.
CoWork Jax focuses on fostering the local innovative community to create and grow ground-breaking businesses. CoWork Jax will offer business to business membership into the collaborative community. The initiative expects members from a variety of industries, including design, marketing, architecture, legal, and engineering.
“Coworking is a social enterprise that can inspire and support ground-breaking initiatives and ultimately drive economic development,” says Elton Rivas, co-founder CoWork Jax. “Jacksonville has the talent and structural resources we’ve seen in cities with successful coworking programs, particularly in innovation corridors like the Pacific Northwest. We’re excited to launch this initiative in Downtown Jacksonville and look forward to the event’s success.”
The purpose of the week-long event is to put Jacksonville on the map of cities that have at least one coworking space and to determine what will work best for downtown Jacksonville. The event lets people give CoWork Jax a trial run to see how it fits into their workforce needs—at no cost. Downtown Coworking Week will be held Monday, February 28 through Friday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Vision has conducted a study to see what Jacksonville residents think about coworking and how it plays out in the Northeastern Florida City.
“The response to our online survey is positive with more than 70 people completing the survey so far,” says Terry Lorince, executive director, Downtown Vision. “The results will help the coworking committee determine the level of interest, define what workers want and determine the optimum coworking scenario for the downtown market.”
This is a lot of ado about coworking, for sure. Apparently, Jacksonville hopes the idea will spark activity in its urban core. I am not sure if coworking will be a hit in Jacksonville or not, but it certainly is worth a shot. I imagine there are enough creative types there to give it a go, and the event should drive awareness of the facility. In any case, it’s just more evidence that the coworking office space trend is more than just a trend—it’s an emerging industry.
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