As the exterior sign proudly proclaims at 851 North Pearl Alley, Workshop Co. was established in 2010. The Short North entrepreneurial hotspot will come to a close in 2014, as owner Brady Konya has decided to exit the coworking business to focus on other endeavors.
“We announced to our members last week that we’re closing our studio on June 1st,” stated Konya. “Which was a tough decision. The coworking business in Columbus has been great, and the niche that Workshop carved out for full time entrepreneurs has been phenomenal.”
Konya said that although the business has operated at full capacity for three years, and has maintained a waiting list for new tenants, the amount of time and energy he puts into maintaining the space would be better served at his other business: Middle West Spirits, makers of OYO products.
“The wind is at our back with Middle West right now,” he explained. “We have some big plans in the works this year, so we have to reallocate our resources to that project.”
Current tenants at Workshop Co. were notified of the closure last week, and have six weeks to relocate. Seth Quillin, CEO and Founder of Building Five has called Workshop Co. home for two years where he has grown from a one-person operation to a five-person team with additional freelancers.
“Yes it’s unfortunate that it’s closing and we are scrambling to find new digs,” he said. “Brady is great and has been great supporter of us and the groups in the shop. I like this concept and truly believe startups and small businesses need an environment like this to succeed.”
There are nine small business that are currently housed at Workshop Co. that will begin the process of relocating. Konya hopes that the City of Columbus can step up to fill the gap that Workshop Co. will leave.
“Columbus just doesn’t have assets like this right now — they’re few and far between,” he said. “We’ve been asking for more safe havens for entrepreneurs that don’t live in the tech world 24/7. The fact that we’ve operated at capacity for three years is a great indication for a long term need for more spaces like this.”
The 3,900 square feet of space will not sit empty for long. Uber, which has been a tenant at Workshop Co. for the past six months, has signed a longer term lease for the entire space. The San Francisco-based startup plans to expand their Columbus footprint in the coming months.
For details on the expansion of Uber, CLICK HERE to read more on Columbus Underground.