5 Of the Best in the Midwest – Coworking Spaces in the USA
5 Unique Coworking Spaces in the Midwest
Often, Chicago has been referred to as “the New York of the Midwest” and for a good reason — with a metropolis of nearly 10 million, it’s the third largest U.S. city, smack dab on the coast of Lake Michigan. For two days in 1871, a raging fire burned the city, killing nearly 300 and ruining over 3 sq. miles of office space in the central business district. And while the fire was devastating, one of the largest natural disasters of the 19th century in America, Chicago rebuilt itself and became one of the most influential, economically prosperous cities in the U.S. 1871, a coworking space located right on the Mississippi River in Chicago, is named in part to the Great Fire, but more importantly, to the work and growth that occurred after the devastation.
The space is home to entrepreneurs, digital designers and engineers, and workers can choose three types of package depending on how they want to cowork. A well rounded coworking facility, 1871 offers community building activities and classes to integrate workers in an environment that mimics the collaborative efforts post-fire some 140 years ago. Mentors and members work together to create the warmth and invitational atmosphere that makes 1871 a place where workers are encouraged along their path towards building their digital company.
According to NerdWallet, in 2014 Minneapolis and Saint Paul were ranked numbers 3 and 4, respectively, on a list of the best cities for quality of life. Additionally, Minneapolis has been in the spotlight for its underground music scene, as well as the affordability of the Twin Cities. Coco, while having three locations in the T.C. area, also has a location in Fargo, ND, only five minute across the Minnesota-North Dakota border, a town made famous by the Coen brothers movie of the same name. Locations include amenities such as patios, billiards rooms, conference areas and “the garage”, a 3500 sq. foot open floor plan idea space for groups to brainstorm in and create. Their Uptown location is right in Calhoun Square, one of the trendiest places in Minneapolis.
A quirky mixture of art gallery and coworking space, Cali Commons was born slightly on accident. Previously the site of an old grocery store, founders Luke and Molly decided that Omaha needed a coworking space. The two artists previously had a studio in Benson, but decided that a combination coworking / art studio was the next best move, and continue to be hopeful that the space can be a supportive environment for budding artists, entrepreneurs and individuals. An added bonus for coworkers: Luke and Molly plan on switching art work on the walls of the space regularly, and art shows and events allow for mingling, networking and all around communication. Currently, Cali Commons is looking to maintain around 10 coworkers at any given point in time.
Unlike many other coworking space, Indianapolis’ The Speakeasy offers coworking space to already formed and successful businesses and groups in the area. A 501(c)3 non-profit, since early 2012, businesses and entrepreneurs have gathered at The Speakeasy at all stages of the businesses, to share, grow and work during the day, and to gather at night for speakers, events and discussions. In the line of the prohibition-era speakeasy bars, Indianapolis’ coworking space is dedicated to bringing people together to learn from, and listen, to each other, and to benefit one another. They’re also a beautifully modern space, while retaining retro appeal and the jazzy vibe of the traditional speakeasy.
While Chandler from Friends may have been relocated to Tulsa as a plot line later in the series, others are flocking to the Kansas city for coworking possibilities. The Workshop is a coworking space 1500 sq. foot large; the space is the brainchild of couple Christine Sharp-Crowe and Thom Crow. In 2009, the pair started make:Tulsa, a creative collaboration for entrepreneurs; the duo have their hands in indie crafts and homemade goods. The Workshop is host to a coworking space that promotes artistic creativity, and caters to startup artisans.