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Caroline Collective


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Co-working is coming to Houston! A few friends of mine are working on turning an old one story office building into a social collaborative workspace. Individuals will be able to rent desks by the month and will be surrounded by other creative individuals to bounce ideas off of.

Heres a chron story that ran yesterday about coworking.

ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYMENT

Working outside the cubicle

Self-employed technorati find places to meet, network and socialize

By CORILYN SHROPSHIRE

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/5681570.html

Edited by Subdude
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  • 1 month later...

I am going to be self-employed soon and have been looking for an office solution outside of my house and away from the baby and nanny every morning. My wife sent me a link to this place this morning and it looks VERY cool. Going to schedule a tour and will report back after I check it out.

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Went over and checked it out today and met with Matthew, one of the owners. The June 1 opening date is going to be a very soft opening - they will have the desks ready and the wifi up and running but nothing much beyond that. This is all understandable, though, as they're paying everything out of their pockets as they go along. The floors are still bare and there appears to be a lot of construction and improvements left to do.

Mrs Cottonmather0 and I were impressed with what they have planned and the vision they seem to have for it. Not sure if we're going to buy into it or not for our business, but they seem to be getting a lot of the space locked up early.

I would also say that based on what Matthew shared with us, "collective" is a very descriptive word. The place is designed for a lot of collaboration and community between the tenants and not necessarily just as a cheap office space alternative. It will be cool - already for our own business we could see the synergies from being close to some of the other tenants he listed.

If I had to list one thing that disappointed me, I would say that I would have hoped they had a more sophisticated technological plan - maybe a configurable telephone system, at least for the tenants leasing the actual offices, and actual wired networking ("ethernet") jacks, to name a couple of things. Right now they just plan on having a T1 line coming in from the ISP (not sure who that is) running to a wireless router (of undetermined speed) and that's it. Matthew said the plan was just to let tenants just set up their own VOIP (Vonage) type systems, but if they're paying for a T1 a truly integrated package wouldn't be that much more expensive.

All in all though, I think it's a pretty neat idea and that they'll be successful. I don't know if they're far enough along for Mrs Cottonmather0 and I to be able to make a decision if we want to pay to join, but it definitely an option for us and it's an impressive thing they're trying to do.

Edited by cottonmather0
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All in all though, I think it's a pretty neat idea and that they'll be successful. I don't know if they're far enough along for Mrs Cottonmather0 and I to be able to make a decision if we want to pay to join, but it definitely an option for us and it's an impressive thing they're trying to do.

I'm sure they went over the fee schedules on your tour but for everyone else reading this thread, you can drop in for free -- up to 3 times a week, i think, before they ask you to pay anything.

This also reminds me that i need to call Matt to schedule a tour....

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I'm sitting at a desk in Caroline as we speak:

post-342-1211816948_thumb.jpg

I'm leasing a desk in the coworking room. I've followed other coworking setups like Citizen Space in other cities, and I was really excited that Matthew & Ned started one in Houston. I've telecommuted for years, and the cafe thing gets old after a while. It's nice to have a space that feels cafe-ish (regular crowd, laid-back atmosphere) with the bonus of having a real desk where I can leave my gear.

I'm using my cellular data card because the WiFi's not ready yet, and I can't wait until that goes live. That'll be the turning point that brings people in here on a regular basis.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For anyone interested in checking out the space, they are having the grand opening party this Saturday from 7-10pm. Click here for details.

For anyone interested in checking out the space, they are having the grand opening party this Saturday from 7-10pm. Click here for details.

Ummm ... that embedded link doesn't seem to work.

http://carolinecollective.cc/2008/05/28/ca...party-june-7th/

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I was working over there yesterday trying it out and will likely be at the party tomorrow night - will probably even pay for a drop-in membership or a desk at this point. At this point there are a whole lot of people working over there right now.

BTW - Brent's desk is much more moved in now than the picture he posted from two weeks ago, he's even got pictures on the wall.

Edited by cottonmather0
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