Freelance workers and small businesses in the Short Pump area looking for a space to work and collaborate will soon have a better option than their local coffee shop or paying a hefty rent of a large office property. Gather, a Richmond-based co-working space, is set to open their third location at West Broad Village.
Gather originally opened its doors in 2014 with a location on East Main Street and most recently opened up a spot in Scott’s Addition at 2920 W Broad St. The coworking business offers access to a common workspace for people who would normally work from home, as well as office space for individuals and businesses who are looking to rent space within one of Gather’s buildings. In addition, members of Gather have access to a full kitchen, free coffee and beer, the buildings’ gym and showers, various community rooms, as well as a variety of social events.
“When coworking first started out, I think that it was mostly focused on freelancers, start ups, and specifically tech startups,” said Jessica Back, the sales and engagement manager at Gather. “But I think that as it’s grown, specifically as Gather’s grown, our clientele base and our members have grown to be diverse, and we really serve everyone. I think that the style of work is changing and that people are really drawn to an atmosphere that is casual but productive.”
Of course, all of these benefits come at a price. There are several membership tiers, the first being the Coworking plan. At $250 dollars a month, this tier gives members access to the benefits previously mentioned, as well as 24/7 access to all Gather locations, the buildings’ wifi, conference rooms, a work mailbox, and the ability to use their printers.
The Dedicated Desk tier gives members all of the benefits of the Coworking tier, in addition to a personal work desk.
The Office tier ranges from $500 to $1500 dollars a month. The price varies depending on the amount of people in one space, as individuals can rent their own personal office, and businesses can rent their own space for multiple people.
There is also a $40 dollars a month “Pay As You Go” plan, which requires members to pay for access to coworking seating ($20 dollars a day), the conference room ($10 dollars an hour), the mailbox ($40 dollars a month), and the printer ($5 dollars a month for access to the printer, with payments per print) as they use it. This tier also limits access to the building between the hours of 8am to 5pm, instead of the 24 hour access granted by the other tiers.
James Crenshaw, the managing partner at Gather, said that the space was created with flexibility in mind, and makes the process of finding a workplace much easier for people who would usually work at home.
“Let’s say you’re a freelancer, you’re getting ready to start your business, and you want to have an office to work out of,” Crenshaw said. “You’d have to go find a real estate broker to go find you a space. They show you spaces around town, then you have to come up with a big security deposit, and you have to sign a three year lease on the space. So as a freelancer, there really is no other option except for working from home, or at a coffee shop, that gives you that flexibility.”
Construction on the Short Pump location started in August. Hickok Cole Architects are serving as the building’s architect and interior designer. Jessica Zullo, director of Hickok Cole’s Richmond studio, talks about the growing popularity of more casual workspaces as reason for expanding to the area.
“The nature of work is changing: people are spending less time in formal offices, adapting to
flexible work hours, and expecting access to a wide spectrum of amenities,” Zullo said in a press release. “Like Gather’s original locations, in Short Pump we are creating an experience that will enhance the member’s working lives and build member loyalty through dynamic design.”
Members who currently work out of Gather’s Downtown and Scott’s Addition offices will have access to the new Short Pump location, located at 2400 Old Brick Road, when it opens in early 2018.