CO+HOOTS, the downtown Phoenix co-working space, landed at its new home at 1027 E. Washington St. The move is part of a larger collaboration among local co-working spaces and incubators to create an entrepreneurial business corridor known as “Washington Row.”
After two successful years at their Garfield neighborhood location, CO+HOOTS is primed for growth. Having met their capacity with 20 businesses, the new space will allow them to offer support and expanded resources to a greater number of local entrepreneurs, while contributing to the development of downtown Phoenix. CO+HOOTS had been temporarily housed at monOrchid Gallery in Roosevelt Row since early August.
“The move will transcend CO+HOOTS beyond its functional role as a stand-alone collaborative space with desks and meeting rooms,” CO+HOOTS Founder Jenny Poon said. “It will help institute a big-picture plan focused on creating enduring partnerships and breathing life into the entrepreneurial core of the city.”
Others joining forces in the effort to put Phoenix on the map for its culture of innovation include SEEDspot, whose focus is on supporting social entrepreneurial ventures and the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation at Gateway Community College.
By establishing themselves along Washington, these spaces benefit from their proximity to each other and to the light rail, while helping to revitalize a key part of the city. As these small businesses grow, the concept is that they will eventually populate other buildings along Washington street, continually adding to the vibrancy of the corridor and the downtown Phoenix community.
CO+HOOTS and their partners in this effort have received strong support from Phoenix community leaders. Mayor Greg Stanton praised these business for having “the talent and vision critical to economic development in making our city competitive.”
Kimber Lanning, founder and executive director of Local First Arizona, also voiced her support, saying “Phoenix is becoming an outstanding place for entrepreneurs and CO+HOOTS is a shining example of a shared space that helps new businesses of all kinds thrive.”
“The city benefits in many ways when entrepreneurs are supported and we need to do all we can to keep our brightest, most innovative entrepreneurs here at home,” says Lanning.
A shift is happening. Look around you. Collaborative movements are spreading across the globe. With the instantaneous communication environment we now live in, efforts to bring people together are being supported in rapid-fire succession.
It’s the idea of collaborative communities: organizing people in such a way that they can connect and engage together more effectively by sharing resources and strengthening social ties. A great website that highlights this is Collaborative Consumption. As I’ve been venturing via bike across Phoenix and Tempe, I’ve noticed the shift. Whether it’s helping with Valley of the Sunflowers, biking co-ops, or Audubon’s conservation efforts, communities are indeed connecting with one another and uniting on issues that matter. Whatever the cause, people are there making an impact.
Technology has a huge role in this movement. Want to be involved in the Willo Historic District? There’s an email newsletter for that. Training for P.F. Chang’s Marathon? There’s an online meet-up group for that. Volunteering opportunities at the Roosevelt Row Growhouse garden? There’s a blog, online news articles, and Facebook events for that. Even these cool kids at Co+Hoots, a collaborative workspace environment, seem to be in the know with co-working magic. (Read more here) All these people are coming together to make REAL change and it’s incredibly simple to get involved. Collaboration at your fingertips.
Yet, collaboration brings some interesting challenges. As more and more people are coming together, the dire need for easy accessibility rises. Some urban cities are paving the way, literally, to make accessibility a reality.
Take Copenhagen for example. It is the largest city in Denmark, home to approximately 1.2 million people in the metro area (200,000 shy of Phoenix’s population), with one-third of those people riding bikes. Highlighted as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, Copenhagen has an urban infrastructure that supports a connected lifestyle. A big attribute to this movement is the introduction to the Bike Sharing System, which allows riders to pay a deposit (which they get back) to rent the bike as needed. Eugene, Oregon is also known for its pedestrian-friendly efforts, quoted by Bicycling Magazine as one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States.
While Phoenix doesn’t have a bike-sharing system (yet), we still have a rich, diverse community who seek to connect. As a community, we can support change and enhancement of the physical structure in order to accommodate more bike and pedestrian-friendly access. However, we need to shift the way we think. Which brings the question: Why collaborate?
Supporting a more collaborative lifestyle increases your access to valuable resources, whether that’s access to local foods and gardens, carpooling options to get the kids to soccer or reducing the spouse’s long work commute, to simply connecting with your neighbors and getting involved in the area where you live. In 2011, I don’t think of knocking on the neighbor’s door as a 1950’s kind request for sugar; I think of it a genuine desire to connect, letting my neighbor’s know they are welcomed and my resources are available to them.
The days of not trusting your neighbor are slowly dissolving with neighborhoods that reflect this collaborative model. It builds trust, which then allows communication to flow. The Willo Historic District newsletter, for example, is keeps its readers on alert for suspicious activities, building that sense of trust and security. This is part of the collaborative mindset. Uniting communities together says, “This place matters and I want to be a part of it.” With that type of mindset, anything is possible.
When you turn the calendar to October, First Fridays start heating up, just as the weather starts cooling down (well, theoretically anyway). In an effort to help you get the most out of those precious four hours (and beyond) tonight, here is DPJ’s October First Friday walking guide.
First Fridays are always a hotbed for live music, and tonight is no exception. Hear tunes at Civic Space Park, the Rhythm Room (21+), the Lost Leaf (21+) or the Trunk Space. For more info on these shows, read this week’s Make the Scene blog.
If you’re east of 7th Street, make sure to visit the lot at 905 E. McKinley St. Phoenix Public Market favorite Torched Goodness and Gilbert’s Udder Delights will be dishing out treats starting at 5 p.m.!
Oh, and art!
Yes, Roosevelt Row, Lower Grand and surrounding ‘hoods will be alive with open galleries, bars, restaurants and street artists. Our can’t miss suggestions: Monsters Menagerie at the Alwun House (7 to 10 p.m.), Morgan McNally’s solo exhibit at the Tire Pit Gallery (7 to 10 p.m.) and Chaos Theory 11 at Legend City Studios (7 to 9 p.m.).
View October First Friday in a larger map
If you have the rare opportunity to track down ever-busy Phoenix Design Week co-founders Mark Dudlik and Dave Bjorn, the duo that is Dojo Collective, and ask them why they’re working nearly around the clock to make the second annual event a success, it becomes apparent that these guys ooze the creative scene of Phoenix.
Frustrated with the lack of design respect our desert locale gets on a national scale — Dudlik names off a half-dozen highly praised metros like New York, Minneapolis and Austin before quickly stating Phoenix could be part of this top tier — you’d think these two (both of whom have day jobs, by the way) had no choice but to create the event, which runs from September 29 to October 3.
Trying to whittle Phoenix Design Week into a succinct description is taxing, if not simply because of its scope, then because of its expanding reputation. The theme this year is “FORWARD,” hinting at progress, dignity and innovation. Simply put, Phoenix Design Week aims to celebrate the local design community and the city of Phoenix — it is a full-blown national conference, after all. More than 30 local and national speakers are scheduled throughout the weekend, plus a very notable two-day Adobe training program (traditionally a value of $800) is offered. This year’s conference, held at the Phoenix Convention Center, proudly features seven national speakers, as well as a whole host of locals spreading their creative knowledge.
But what if you’re not a designer? Some of us can’t draw a straight line to save our lives, but we can still appreciate some killer exhibits — 10 in all, spread across three Valley locations. It’s inspiring to all.
The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Phoenix Convention Center. A party open to everyone who registers for the conference will be held at Gallo Blanco Café and Bar on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Hillman Curtis, Saturday, 10:45 a.m.
Mike Joosse, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Brian Singer, Saturday, 3 p.m.
James Victor and Paul Sahre, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
Andres Krogh, Sunday, 3 p.m.
Von Glitschka, Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Held Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at CO+HOOTS, Air Marketing and Sitewire. Exhibit receptions are at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Sitewire, 7 p.m. on Thursday at Air and 6 p.m. on First Friday at CO+HOOTS.
If You Go: Phoenix Design Week
Conference dates are Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3
Registration is $125 online for the full conference
Follow on Twitter with hashtag #phxdw
Phoenix Convention Center is located at 100 N. 3rd St. in Downtown Phoenix (light rail at 3rd Street & Washington/Jefferson stations).
So, you walk into a local coffee shop today, like you do on several other days of the week, with your laptop tucked under your arm and your brain spinning with all of the work you have to do. Your favorite table, the one right by the power outlet and the window, is taken by someone else. He has his papers sprawled across the table and doesn’t look like he’ll be leaving any time soon, so you settle for a different spot nearby.
After answering your e-mails and reading the news, you finally get to work. But, the woman next to you answers a personal phone call and you’re forced to hear the entire conversation, no matter how hard you try to block it out. You decide to take a break and catch up on your social networking until she’s done, but by that time you’ve already lost focus.
Sound familiar? It probably does if your job doesn’t provide with you an office space. Fortunately, there is now a place where you can avoid it all.
Downtown Phoenix is about to get its first co-working space. It’s called CO+HOOTS, and its purpose is to provide you with a place to work where you will be surrounded by other creative people that can help inspire you instead of hinder your productivity.
Co-workers can choose from different membership levels, but first must apply to get a space. They are selected based on how well they are expected to fit in with the other members.
“It’s a community of people that believe in the same thing that want to do better, and it’s not just about making money — it’s about building better work,” says CO+HOOTS manager and eeko studio owner Jenny Poon.
About a year ago, Poon had the idea of getting three or four other businesses to share a space with her, thinking they would be the elements that make up an advertising agency.
“I wanted an office space because that was the most obvious next step for my business,” she reveals. “And then I wanted to be in an environment where I was inspired by other people.”
The plan didn’t work out, and Poon stopped searching for a space for a while. When she began to look again, she revisited the former J.B. Bayless Grocery store near 7th and Roosevelt streets, a location she had looked at before. The owner of the historic building suggested she turn it into a co-working space, and, less than two months ago, the idea of CO+HOOTS was born.
The 4,000-sq.-ft. building, constructed in 1926, features stained concrete floors, an unfinished 15-foot ceiling and brick walls decorated with artwork and lined with large windows that provide plenty of natural light.
Poon also plans to use the space for events, such as First Friday displays and guest speaker appearances.
“A big part is doing educational events for small businesses and entrepreneurs who just want to get better,” she says.
The first event at CO+HOOTS is its grand opening celebration this First Friday. Guests will be able to tour the facility and learn about the benefits of co-working. There will also be a collection of work from local photographers and artists, and guests will have the opportunity to create a special art project that will be displayed in the building.
Working at CO+HOOTS
Memberships at CO+HOOTS run $350 or $650 a month, and include a variety of features. Interested co-workers can check out the spot with a $10 day pass. A two-week trial runs at approximately $100.
If You Go: CO+HOOTS Grand Opening
Friday, July 2, from 7 to 11 p.m.
825 N. 7th St. in Garfield
Art on display by Aaron Abbott, Mark Lipczynski, Jeremie Lederman, Huilin Dai, Mark Peterman, Courtney Sargent and Christine Johnson. Music by Meagan Gipson.
Also on hand: Truckin’ Good Food and ONEHOPE Wine.
For more information and to RSVP, check out the Facebook event page.