The "third room" trend is alive and kicking: Paragraph and The Village Quill in New York offer flexible work and being spaces for writers, while Two Rooms has the added benefit of childcare. A minipreneur business for minipreneurs.
Remember trendwatching.com’s being spaces trend? This third-room phenomenon (commercial living-room-like settings, where catering and entertainment aren’t the main attraction, but are there to facilitate small office/living room activities like watching a movie, reading a book, meeting friends and colleagues, or doing your admin) continues to evolve. From an entrepreneurial point of view, Springwise particularly likes the following being spaces spottings: New York’s Paragraph and The Village Quill are members-only centers catering to writers who need a space to be away from it all and actually get some writing done. Paragraph (“providing an affordable and tranquil working environment for writers of all genres”) occupies a 2,500 square foot loft space near Union Square, divided into a writing room and a lounge area. The writing room has 38 partitioned desks, while the lounge area contains a kitchenette, a large round table and smaller café tables. There’s a refrigerator and cabinets to store members’ food and beverages, as well as a microwave, toaster oven and coffee maker. The space has a laser printer and wifi throughout, and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Members are assigned a pin code to access the space, and don’t need to be published authors: a strong drive to write is enough. Monthly access fees range from USD 80 to 132 (EUR 67-110/GBP 45-75). So far, Paragraph has signed up 120 members. The same set up can be found at the Village Quill, whose 1,700 square foot loft in Tribeca boasts 20 shared workstations and a lounge area. The Village Quill also organises readings and workshops.How about combining work, child care and being spaces? Yes, there’s a business opportunity in that as well: look no further than TwoRooms (“You Work, They Play”), another (surprise!) New York based facility designed to provide office space, childcare and community, all in one setting, for freelance and/or home-based workers who don’t have the need for, or can’t afford the expense of full-time childcare.The setup? Two Rooms literally provides two rooms at its facility: one for parents and one for children. The 2,200 square foot communal office area has wireless internet access, computers for rent, a printer, copier, fax and scanner, and, since there’s a receptionist, having packages delivered isn’t a problem. A kitchen area offers an opportunity for interaction between parents. Parents can use the center for full-time childcare and office space, or can take advantage of extensive flexibility and varied scheduling options.Childcare is available for kids from 3 months to 4 years old. Two Rooms can take a maximum of 21 adults and 21 children at a time. Kids have a completely separate space, with an infant room, and even (this IS Manhattan, after all) a small outdoor play area.Annual membership fee is USD 150 (EUR125/GBP 85), and usage is charged by the month, week or hour with fees ranging from USD 7-14 per hour (EUR 6-12/GBP 4-8).