Major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or Miami may be bursting with opportunities, but they are also expensive places to live in. Fortunately, there are plenty of other U.S. cities where you can thrive as a freelancer or a young entrepreneur without pushing the boat out too far. One such place is Columbus, Ohio, deemed as one of the best cities in the whole country in terms of available job openings.
The third most populous state capital is listed on the 7th spot on Glassdoor’s 25 Best Cities for Jobs 2017 rankings and gained the 5th position on Apartment List’s Top U.S. Metros for Millennials. Boasting a median age of 31.8 years, The Discovery City attracts highly skilled professionals with its strong job market, an affordable cost of living, and a lively entertainment scene. Taking all these factors into consideration, and after compiling a list of the best coworking spaces in Seattle, Indianapolis, and Charlotte, we decided to turn our attention towards Columbus. Keep reading to discover which are some of the most suitable places where you can work all day or where you can house your startup.
60,000 square feet of workshops, offices, working nooks, classrooms and communal spaces: that’s what Idea Foundry has to offer. However, the innovation center located in a renovated, 100-year-old shoe factory is not your typical coworking space. It’s designed as a gathering place for makers, techies, artisans, and visionaries, where, with the right tools, abstract ideas become work-in-progress projects.
The entrepreneurial hub features a 20,000-square-foot workshop and a 25,000-square-foot creative office space, completed by a quiet area on the mezzanine level. If you want to unleash your inner builder you can rent the labs and begin woodworking, blacksmithing, laser engraving or 3D printing. Otherwise, you can make full use of the communal working areas, book a dedicated desk or rent an office that can house between 2 and 15 people. Depending on the chosen package, members benefit from front desk support, mailbox services, free Wi-Fi, discounted conference rooms, classrooms and event spaces.
Just like its Charlotte counterpart, Industrious Columbus is located downtown, in a trendy urban arts district. Encompassing 10,000 square feet of space, the entrepreneurial hub provides modern workspaces for digital nomads and small startups alike. Whether you want to work undisturbed on your project or you want to exchange ideas with other members, you can find your own spot in a warm, well-lit and cozy environment that features an amazing city view.
The collaborative office space is outfitted with common areas, conference rooms, relaxation areas, a mother’s room, and even a secret room, for when you need some privacy. Depending on the size of your team, you can either rent a desk in a shared space or rent a private office. Membership has its perks, including free access to the Pizzuti Collection of contemporary art, ultra-fast Internet, unlimited free printing, fresh fruits, local beer, coffee, and pastries.
Intelligent Office is a coworking franchise that operates one location in downtown Columbus, in a mid-rise tower at 175 South Third Street that overlooks the Columbus Commons Park. The on-demand office space provider is specialized in virtual office services and provides the right environment for mobile workers and for small businesses to grow. Apart from the classic options, you can benefit from administrative assistance and marketing and business development services. Furthermore, the entrepreneurial hub offers a variety of attractive amenities, such as an airport shuttle with pick-up outside of the building, dry cleaning services, and training rooms that accommodate as many as 125 people.
Operating an upscale coworking space at 21 East State St., Serendipity Labs is getting ready to open its second location in the city, in the Short North neighborhood. With a variety of setups, the collaborative office hub welcomes freelancers working alone or in teams, and includes flexible workspaces, all-inclusive private offices, a coworking lounge, and meeting and event spaces. If you want to find your own workplace, you can opt for one of the resident or non-resident membership packages available. The company offers full-time and part-time access to coworking desks, dedicated desks, private offices for up to three people, and team rooms for up to 10 people. In addition to the standard amenities, you can choose to pay for telephony, technology, and business presence bundles or after-hours answering services.
Located within the Franklinton Arts District, 400 Coworking is a 4,000-square-foot coworking studio with a vibrant ambiance, fit for anyone with an artistic flair. If you work in the creative industries and you want to find a place for working on your ideas or getting inspired, this might be a good option—provided that you bring your own laptop. Featuring natural light pouring through the skylights and a clean design with plenty of exposed brick, the place is ready to accommodate your needs—whether you work alone or in a small group.
The warehouse-style coworking studio offers a variety of setups, including three communal tables with four chairs each, a few cubicles, a few small, two-person offices, and a few large offices for up to three people. All members benefit from 24/7 access, free fiber Wi-Fi, locker storage, printing, copy and scanning services, 20h of scheduled conference room time, and unlimited tea, coffee, and snacks.
Another national coworking chain present on the Columbus market is Office Evolution, a company that has two locations in Discovery City. Both are modern and comfortable workspaces designed to serve individual workers and startup owners wishing to find a quiet place to hold business meetings and host productive brainstorming sessions.
The first coworking space, located within the iconic Huntington Center, is outfitted with 24 office spaces, a communal working area, two conference rooms, dedicated desks, and a day office. The second one, located within the Easton Town Center, is more of a community center that encourages collaboration. There, you can rent one of the 50 private offices available, grab a seat at the coworking tables or book one of the three conference rooms that accommodate up to 16 people. On top of the usual amenities, you can also benefit from phone answering services and business mailing addresses.
Boasting a laid-back ambiance, The Salt Mines is a coworking company operating two locations in the city: one at 2997 Indianola Ave. and the other at 3820 North High St. A somewhat informal space, resembling in certain ways a coffee shop, the community center can be your home away from home if you’re a digital nomad with an artistic side who enjoys working in a relaxed environment. Both locations have an open plan layout filled with workstation pods and alcoves, complete with a conference room where you can host video conferences or face-to-face meetings with your business partners. The membership packages include full-time and part-time office space use, as well as full-time dedicated desk use.
Conveniently located just steps away from the courthouse, at 341 S. Third Street, Qwirk Coworking recommends itself as a casual space for serious remote workers, entrepreneurs, and small companies. A clean and quiet place, this downtown Columbus community center mainly attracts professionals who need to focus on their tasks without any interruptions.
Similarly to other coworking spaces, Qwirk offers day passes, part-time desks, dedicated desks, and private rooms. What sets this place apart is the discounted IT services provided, such as web design, SEO, and social media marketing, which might come in handy if you need help with launching your own website. Members also have access to a fully equipped conference room that can host up to 15 people, and to a 30-seat training room. Amenities include free on-site parking, mail collection services, secure lockers, high-speed internet, printing services, as well as free snacks, coffee, and water.
A locally owned workspace, The Perch is a community center that aims to encourage collaboration among the freelancers, startups, and small businesses working in the Short North neighborhood. Featuring a modern industrial design, this hub focuses on driving long-term commitments, so don’t be surprised if you meet the same people every day. The coworking space is outfitted with dedicated single-seat desks, small two-person desks, private offices that accommodate up to three people, and a loft dedicated to teams of four or five people. All members benefit from 24/7 access, complimentary office supplies, Wi-Fi connection, equipment storage, access to a private conference room, access to a fully stocked kitchen, on-site parking and public display of company logos.
A recent addition to the Columbus coworking scene, Haven Collective is a 7,700-square-foot space designed as a warm and inclusive community of like-minded “solopreneurs,” work-from-home professionals, and business owners. Located at 2025 Riverside Drive in Upper Arlington, the hub is a perfect fit for those who want to work in a supportive environment that promotes empowerment.
Featuring an eclectic design and a lively ambiance, the place is outfitted with everything you might need to spend a productive workday. You can grab a seat at one of the shared workspaces, rent a semi-private dedicated desk with lockable file cabinets or seize a brandable private office that accommodates up to five desks. Focused on maintaining the much-coveted work-life balance, Haven Collective offers its members, besides the usual amenities, a drop-in kids club, a library, health and wellness programs, and a podcasting studio.
Launched in January 2018, Versa is one of the newest additions to the coworking scene in Columbus. Founded by two real estate developers, the 37,000-square-foot space located at 1201 Dublin Road is the first to open in a chain of three. The other two are expected to open their doors in summer 2018. An eclectic, comfortable place basking in natural light, this collaborative workspace has a warm ambiance that allows you to fully concentrate on the next steps you should take in your career.
In terms of available setups, the coworking space offers open desks, open lounges, dedicated desks, private offices for up to 12 people, and quiet rooms, complete with virtual memberships. Depending on the chosen package, you can benefit from a wide array of amenities, including a speedy Internet connection, business address and mail handling, printing services, concierge services, assorted cold beverages, coffee, tea, snacks and breakfast food, and even notary services.
Probably the newest addition to the Columbus coworking scene, Brewery District Work Co. is an upscale collaborative workspace located at 111 Liberty St. Featuring a rustic-yet-modern aesthetic, the place welcomes you with everything you need to get work done. Designed to accommodate your work style, the hub is equipped with a sofa, some beanbags, a high-top table, a few desks and a glass-enclosed conference room. It’s not big, but it might be the ideal environment if you want to escape the constant hum often encountered in larger coworking spaces.