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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:03

New Custer division plans co-working space in downtown Grand Rapids

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Worklab by Custer Worklab by Custer COURTESY RENDERING

Worklab by Custer is developing an alternative office space environment for a newly renovated downtown Grand Rapids office building.

Worklab, a separate company formed under the Custer Inc. banner, recently inked a deal with developer Franklin Partners LLC to create 10,000 square feet of co-working space on the second floor of the 99 Monroe building.

Worklab was developed based on research from office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. and the project will utilize a number Steelcase technologies, said Mark Custer, co-owner of Worklab and director of growth initiatives for Custer.

“What we wanted to develop and work with is something Steelcase has been researching for the last decade in the way people work, meet and collaborate,” Custer said. “A lot of what we’re doing is based off their Workspring brand.”

Worklab is also a response to Steelcase research that found approximately 40 percent of people in the current U.S. workforce are mobile workers with the expectation that mobile workers will grow to 60 percent of the workforce by 2020, he said.

“Companies continue to reduce their footprint and we think this (concept) is a great opportunity with enough market potential to support not only this project but others in the future as more and more work moves to these kinds of third spaces,” Custer said.

With more social accessibility, ergonomic furniture and the best technology available, these new offices environments are much better spaces than the average home office, he added.

The project includes 13 private offices, two mobile offices, one executive office and one team room that can accommodate up to four people. Plans also feature seven meeting spaces with seating for four to 35 people. All the meeting spaces include display and switching technology with video conferencing available in three of the rooms. Other features include a work lounge, cafe and a variety of other workstations.

The space is scheduled to open in June. 

Prices for office memberships range from $899 per month to $49 per day. Meeting space rentals vary from $49 per person for two hours to $135 per person for full-day meetings. Team space rentals and event rentals are also available.

Amenities for members include coffee, healthy snacks, beverages, concierge services, lockers and copies. Full-time members also have access to the new fitness center Franklin Partners recently completed in the facility.

The offerings at Worklab are slightly different from those available at other co-working spaces in Grand Rapids such as Blue35 – the collaboration between Rockford Development and Haworth – and The Factory, Custer said. But that fact that more spaces like Worklab are proving viable gives him confidence in expanding further.

“Eventually, we want multiple locations,” Custer said. “This (location) will be the main hub, but eventually we want to have a hub and spoke model that may include the lakeshore, Kalamazoo and one to two more suburban locations in Grand Rapids.”

Read 4970 times Last modified on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 16:18

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