The New Trend in Office Space
Office rent is commonly one of the largest expenses a company will face other than their employee overhead. With the Long Island office market vacancy rates declining, less office space is available these days for rent. As you know, this drives the cost of rental rates up.
A high cost in office space can be daunting for even the most established of businesses, but think about just how challenging high rent would be for a start-up company. Many business owners will tell you that within the first three years of being in business they were barely able to make ends meet. With Long Island’s growing economy, a start-up or entrepreneur may have little chance of renting space to establish themselves.
Incubators are co-working spaces where smaller businesses or entrepreneurs are able to rent however much space is needed in a shared environment without the stressful and binding leasing agreements. Think: renting a desk for a month, or a conference room for two weeks. These incubators provide affordable and efficient space which encourages collaboration and innovation. In addition to cost saving advantages, these incubators also enable individuals and small businesses to reduce their footprint and allow them to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. Already, Long Island has two companies that have created and opened incubator work spaces: The Business Corners and LaunchPad.
The Business Corners (TBC) was the first co-working space to open here on Long Island in 2010. Located in Hauppauge, Suffolk County, TBC is 5,000 square feet of affordable working space and meeting space for members and non-members. Centrally located at LIE exit 53, TBC is a collaborative and community based working environment that offers high speed business class wi-fi, whiteboard rooms, workstation computers, 24/7 dedicated private office space (available to members only), event spacing for up to 100 people, and a lounge and full kitchen. As for the fees, the Co-working Community Membership is $200/month and the Resident Membership is $750/month. The Business Corners believes that they are changing the way people on Long Island connect and work by working in a shared location, members can come together as a community while working independently. The space is available on an hourly basis to both members and non-members. Options of a shared workspace, private offices, small meeting rooms, and a conference center are available.
LaunchPad, which currently has two locations and a third in planning, was Long Island’s second incubator to be established here on our island. LaunchPad is the ideal co-working environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs. With targeted programs, encouraged co-working, demo nights, pitch nights, and speaker series businesses -both old and new- are armed with the right tools to grow and flourish. LaunchPad takes pride in having a large network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors. They even provide guidance and an option to apply for seed capital for start-ups. LaunchPad understands the challenge that start-ups are faced with and was created to help those entrepreneurs improve the odds of start-up success. Established for just over a year, LaunchPad already has two locations on Long Island and a headquarters in Hicksville. The first space is on Mineola Boulevard, Mineola which is a 12,000 square foot co-working space, and the second on Main Street, Huntington Village which is 8,600 square feet. There are also plans to open a third facility this fall in Great Neck Plaza. Each of these incubator spaces is centrally located close by public transportation/mass transit which creates ease of access for Long Islanders. LaunchPad’s co-working communities are modern environments designed and setup for optimum collaboration and feature 24/7 access, “supersonic wi-fi”, conference rooms with large TV’s, and professional services support (legal, finance, marketing, insurance, etc.). In addition, there is also event space with seating for 100 people that is ideal for pitches, presentations, and speakers. As for fees, they range from a low of $149/month to an unassigned desk, to between $700 and more than $3,000 for a private office. There are currently over 60 businesses that are members of LaunchPad between the two current locations.
There’s no denying that these incubators are great for business. In their essence, they promote business development and growth, and that’s something that we greatly need here on Long Island. With reasonable rent costs and encouraged networking and mentorship, incubators are likely to continue to pop up across Long Island.