RALEIGH — Opening a co-working space at the start of a global pandemic was never the plan. But six months down the track, things are finally starting to turn a corner for Venture X Durham-RTP.
“We’re getting back into the groove of things and seeing an uptick in residency,” its community manager Evan Preslopsky told WRAL TechWire. “By then end of the year, our pipeline has us hitting 50 percent, with the potential for 70 percent.”
That’s a far cry from where they started back in February when they celebrated their grand opening, just a few weeks before Governor Roy Cooper issued stay-at-home orders as a result of COVID-19. At the time, occupancy was at around 11 percent and then plateaued at 22 percent by mid-March.
“It was definitely challenging. We were rolling along at the beginning of March and then everything came to a halt around the 12th when things really shut down,” Preslopsky said.
Still, they persevered and a handful of startups lined up to occupy the space. Among them was current Venture X member Ritwik Pavan, CEO of VADE Group Inc. and Founder of Linker Logic Technologies,.
“Venture X is a positive environment for startups looking to grow their business,” said Pavan, a current senior at UNC Chapel Hill. “A combination of details – like the behind-the scenes Essensys software, modern West Coast inspired interior design and luxury guest-focused concierge service – has made this creative flex office space the perfect fit for companies like mine.”
BUYING INTO A FRANCHISE
Father and son team, David and Brett Diamond, founded Venture X Naples, in southwest Florida in 2012. Earlier this year, local entrepreneur Tyler Evans decided to start one up here and break into the Triangle market, opening a Venture X franchise in Raleigh.
The 21,773-square-foot office, located at in RTP Frontier, includes a mix of private offices, 254 shared desks, three executive rooms, private wellness room and cafe.
Before the pandemic, the co-working market was booming, with companies like WeWork and Space opening multiple locations. In total, there are more than 20 co-working space providers were scattered around the Triangle.
But with the shift to working from home, things started to tighten for both corporate real estate and co-working spaces. In August, WeWork disclosed that it was shutting down one of its three Durham locations by the end of the year.
Indeed, Venture X has also had to adapt to meet the times. The company has ramped up its cleaning and disinfecting protocols. The building’s management has also implemented a dual air filtration process that has the air pass through a UV light to kill any microscopic germs as well.
The pandemic is still expected to impact the office landscape, but Evans sees a huge opportunity in what Venture X offers.
“Changes to the modern workspace have only been expedited by concerns surrounding COVID-19,” he said. “As we continue to see businesses vacate their commercial leases and traditional office spaces, flex space providers like Venture X are in a prime position to grow their business. At Venture, our high-level design features and world-class amenities help foster a unique work environment that breeds growth and success for tech businesses and professionals alike.”
Added Preslopsky: “We are doing everything we can right now to be prepared for the future when things inevitably go back to normal. We are scheduling partnerships and events for next year, as well as looking ahead for our next location in Raleigh, and our second one in Charlotte.”
Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire