Interior shot of the coworking space on-site at the newly developed Austin Nichols House, a luxury condominium block in Brooklyn, NYC

28

April

2017

The Latest Amenity in Residential Development: Coworking Spaces

Changing work habits and the growing popularity of coworking spaces continue to transform the office landscape around the world. Over in New York, where the coworking sector has achieved the most maturity in recent years, residential developers have taken notice and now there are a number of new projects featuring shared work spaces as an amenity.

According to a Gallup survey released last month, 43% of employed Americans said they work remotely at least some of the time. Between that trend and the rise of the freelance economy, residents now expect more on-site amenities in their apartment buildings that better reflect this huge shift in consciousness.

Today’s workforce wants to be able to work wherever they are, whenever they want

Taking cues from nearby coffee shops is Austin Nichols House, which opened for sales last year and is arguably the highest-profile condominium conversion along the New York’s Brooklyn. The building is designed with a large cafe area that opens onto a courtyard. There are long, shared work tables, benched seating with cafe tables, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and a glassed-in children’s play area next door so that parents can keep an eye on their kids while logging extra hours.

“When I was last looking for apartments a lot of buildings said they had an office, but when you got there you’d find this sterile room from the 1990s, lots of brown and mauve,” said one of the new residents at Austin Nichols House. “A space like that is utterly useless — an office should be about invoking a feeling of creativity and calm, it should be a place I want to bring people. Otherwise I’d stay in my apartment.”

Blurred lines between home and work

At Citizen 360, an Anbau Enterprises condo development on the Upper East Side, the coworking and lounge areas feature massive window seats, swivel chairs, area rugs and plants. Clodagh, the interior designer whose eponymous firm designed the space, pointed out that the demand for beautiful and comfortable work spaces is a corollary of being able — and expected — to work anytime, anywhere.

“Work has become totally nomadic,” she said. “The hospitality business has seeped into the office business, and they’ve both seeped into the home business.”

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