Laurea’s take on coworking at Projective space (Soho Location) on Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This was a really hectic day for me so I was glad that Projective Space was an easy 15 minute train ride with no transfer on the J from Williamsburg.

When things are really stressful for me, it is tempting to just hole up and work from home but I have found that since coworking enables small interactions with people it actually alleviates the extra stress that occurs from being isolated. Being able to quickly vent to someone or just talk about something unrelated to work for a minute helps a lot.

The border of Chinatown and Soho is one of my favorite neighborhoods - there are a lot of calm spaces in between the crowded streets, the architecture is interesting and there are a good selection of lunch and happy hour spots.

What I liked: The location on Broadway near Grand street makes it really easy to get to by train. All the Canal street stops are very close as well as a few stops on Spring street.

The ceilings are high so even though the desks are very close to each other the room doesn’t feel as tight as it would with ceilings that are a standard height. The lighting is nice because it warm and bright. It is not the headache inducing fluorescent type. There are floor to ceiling windows that look out onto Broadway so there is also a fair amount of natural light that comes into the space.

People were very friendly - they had a good balance of engaging in conversation but everyone was really productive. The atmosphere was very busy that day, lots of people on phone calls and you could feel a general sense of energy. 
One of the people that works there teaches a yoga class from time to time at the end of the day and invites people to participate. I didn’t have time for the class that day but that is a big plus for me since I do yoga regularly.

Type of people who work here: Mostly established tech startups like Uber, SeatGeek, and IndieGoGo. Martha and I sat next to a developer that day and I also ran into Kat Popiel who I met awhile ago who runs content and community for IndieGoGo so it is always nice to run into people you know. She said she likes coming into work in the space and she gets a lot done.

What could be better: The desks in the coworking space were really suited to 2 people but since it was busy that day each desk had about 4 people working on it. I accidentally lightly kicked the person in front of me a few times (sorry lady) since I did not have enough leg room. Larger desks could fit into the coworking space with a different layout.

An area to take phone calls that is more insulated like a phone booth or room would also improve the space. Since the space has high ceilings and is long and narrow, when 2 or more people are on the phone the entire space echoes and it can be a bit distracting to hear every detail of someone’s conversation.

It would also be better to put up a barrier around the one conference table to allow for more privacy during any group conversations and in person meetings.

Projective Space did follow up right away with Martha and I about our visit and I told them about what could be better and they addressed my feedback right away and said they are already planning on building out a lounge with phone booths and lockers up front, and a few more tables to increase the coworking area capacity to 20.

This is another important thing for all coworking spaces to do - follow up with every person who tries your space out. Some spaces have been doing this but not all of them. This is such an important part of cultivating your coworking community. The physical aspects of the space are of course very important but without the community the space is not interesting and will not survive.

Lunch: Martha and I wanted to eat at La Esquina but the wait was too long so we ended up at Cafe Select since we were in a hurry. 

The space is comfortable and well designed but the food isn’t very exciting, it falls under the category of French/American *not* one of my favorites but since we didn’t have much time we couldn’t afford the wait for one of the better spots.

Happy hour: There are so many great bar options, but we decided to try Lani Kai which is a kitschy tiki bar with good drinks. We tried it because people we knew on Foursquare had been a few times. 

Coworking at Projective Space is by application. They also have another larger location in the Lower East Side which we are looking forward to trying.

laureadeocampo Posted by laureadeocampo