In a sign that co-working is more than a passing trend, Metro Work Space
is opening a second location in downtown Farmington next week.
The furniture and supplies are being moved into the 100-year-old, historic building with wood floors, high tin ceilings and "overall charm" this week, says Todd Luhtanen, who owns and operates Metro Work Space with wife Bev Luhtanan.
The 2,500-square-foot office at 33316 Grand River is in the heart of downtown Farmington and offers a different feel and will serve a different clientele than the original Metro Work Space at 8 Mile and Merriman in Livonia, he says.
"We see the demand, but we also different markets. The Livonia office is ideal for people who are meeting across metro Detroit. It's close to highways, central," he says. "Downtown Farmington is completely different. It's a downtown community with all the things happening, people working, restaurants, stores.
"In Farmington we're really targeting people who are already in Farmington and want an office," he says. "There really isn't anything affordable."
Both offices provide a workspace, wi-fi, equipment, supplies and services for the cost of a membership that also brings with it access to networking and business management that will schedule conference rooms and meet other needs, even coffee.
"Some people are seeing it as a cheap alternative when they first sign up," he says, "but once they see it and work here they realize there's additional value."
Metro Work Space is one of about 10 co-working spaces in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Their clients are the growing number of mobile and at-home workers, whether employed by a company or self-employed.
According to DeskMag, co-working has increased 117 percent globally in the last year, and Luhtnanen cites Michigan's strong entrepreneurial culture as a reason for co-working to grow. Nearly 20 percent of graduates from Wayne State and Michigan State universities and the University of Michigan have started their own businesses.
"We're really excited about our own growth, plus the overall growth in co-working," he says. Co-working is still in its infancy in the Midwest, while out west or on the East Coast it's a given way to work.
"People here are [finally] seeing the value of a co-working space. We're here in michigan as opposed to silicon valley or somewhere out west where people really get the co-working.
"People are seeing they can get the feeling of a coffee shop, the getting out into the community, the being around human beings, but without all the negatives of a coffee shop."
Source: Todd Luhtanen, founder and owner, Metro Work Space
Writer: Kim North Shine