Digital advertising agency Moosylvania has opened a new co-working space connected to its Maplewood headquarters.
The space, called Maplework, is being marketed to millennials looking to work in flexible work spaces surrounded by other working professionals. The idea was born out of research the ad agency performed as it looked to grow in the competitive agency industry.
“(Moosylvania) does a study on millennials every year — what they’re thinking about, feeling, wanting, etc., and those insights helped us form this space,” said Sharon Ayres, Maplework’s general manager and Moosylvania’s vice president of human resources.
The St. Louis County location — about nine miles west of downtown St. Louis and filled with boutique businesses — is a draw for many, she said.
“There’s a need, with all the random entrepreneurial businesses in the area. Maplewood is seen as hip and trendy, but a lot of the office space that is available is outdated.”
Moosylvania, through its parent company Moose Partners, invested $300,000 to upgrade the space, which had previously been occupied by Hatch Global Research, a focus group business Moose Partners operated before it was sold to L&E Research.
Moosylvania acquired the building, a former church at 7303 Marietta Avenue, in 2015 for less than $1 million and invested millions to transform the building into its headquarters.
Moosylvania clients include rental car giant Enterprise Holdings, Sapporo beer and Macanudo cigars.
Prices for space at Maplework range from $275 a month for drop-in memberships to $1,300 for a three-person office. Each membership comes with free parking, internet access, coffee and tea, mail service and a business hours receptionist.
The Maplewood opening comes as a number of other co-working spaces around the St. Louis area are expanding or seeking to establish themselves further in a crowded industry.
St. Louis has more than a dozen co-working offices spread across the metro area.
Cambridge Innovation Center, a co-working concept that originated in Boston, has rapidly expanded in the Central West End since opening in the Cortex innovation district in 2014 . It now operates approximately 150,000 square feet in one of St. Louis’ premier office destinations.
Downtown T-REX, perhaps St. Louis’ most well-known co-working option, has continued to build out its 160,000-square-foot building at 911 Washington Avenue, which it bought in 2013. T-REX officials are nearing the end of a $10 million capital campaign to renovate much of the building, including a new geospatial technology hub on the building’s fourth floor. The nonprofit incubator is using $5 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits and two $500,000 grants (one from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and another from Monsanto) to develop the geospatial hub, which will complement the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s western headquarters under construction in north St. Louis.
Covo, a Silicon Valley co-working company, is now up and running in the historic Mississippi Valley Trust Co. building at the intersection of Fourth and Pine streets downtown.
Other co-working operations remain viable, too, such as OPO Startups in St. Charles, RISE Collaborative, a women-focused space in Clayton, Nebula on Cherokee Street, TechArtista in the Central West End and Medici MediaSpace in Overland.
According to Deskmag, a publication dedicated to workspaces, the number of global co-working spaces has skyrocketed over the last few years, from 8,900 in 2015 to 15,500 at the end of last year. By the end of 2018, nearly 19,000 co-working spaces are expected to be available.
Meanwhile, members of co-working spaces have grown even faster, from 545,000 in 2015 to 1.27 million last year and a projected 1.7 million by the end of 2018.
“I see people here working in more flexible ways and there are organizations that cater to that type of flexibility,” said Patty Hagen, executive director of T-REX. “I don’t see that trend going away.”
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