To support entrepreneurship in New York, the City and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are getting behind the startup community.
In 2010, they launched a $22 million seed-stage fund, as well as the annual NYC Next Idea competition. They’re also sponsoring various incubators, from General Assembly to NYU-Poly to the newest space: HarlemGarage.
HarlemGarage, to be run by coworking space operator MicroOffice, is a 6,000-square-foot space at 118th Street in Harlem. Construction will start soon, and by late summer the space should be hosting over 100 people, as well as classes and networking events.
The space is actually a converted car garage, and MicroOffice cofounder David Rotbard hopes to keep the industrial feel, with high ceilings and exposed brick. There will be comfortable chairs for lounging, coworking tables, and no enclosed offices – just semi-private classrooms.
Unlike other coworking spaces in New York, Rotbard imagines that HarlemGarage will mostly attract local residents. He sees it as “place of gathering,” “almost like a community center,” and hopes to bring in art exhibits, live music, and local community events.
That’s consistent with the City’s goals, which include revitalizing the 125th Street corridor.
“Harlem is an area that’s been on the radar for awhile. It’s probably quadrupled in the amount of entrepreneurial residents in the past couple of years,” says Rotbard.
He’s seen restaurants and bars popping up in the area, alongside new condos and old Harlem brownstones. But there isn’t much commercial office space, he says; many residents work out of coffee shops or restaurants. With HarlemGarage, they’ll have a new office-home: just steps away from a Starbucks and nicely situated between Morningside Park, Central Park, and Columbia University.
Desks will cost around $300 per month – with discounts for women- and minority-owned businesses – and you can apply through the MicroOffice website.