Portland’s Urban Office kicks off our new coworking space spotlight series.
Tell us the story behind your space becoming what it is today.
In 1978, our space was built for the famous Gene Autry. Many locals know the building as Z100, K103 and 1080. We purchased the space with the idea of creating something meaningful for the community. But it was not until we discovered the coworking shared space concept that I knew it was a match. How wonderful to house many sizes and shapes of businesses together to collaborate, build and share. We are a community where each member plays an important role in whole. Today, Urban Office is the hub of John’s Landing. Whether you’re working, planning an event, holding a conference, demonstrating, or hanging out, this is your space.
We’d love to hear about the passions that drive you from day-to-day. Why are you in the coworking business?
We’re inspired by the power that human connection can create. In this day and age, we’re all empowered to work from wherever we want, really. If we wanted to, we could all stay home all the time – but we don’t, and people keep finding ways to come together. We’ve created a space that will give people the excuse to come out of their homes: free beer, gym space, beautiful natural light in our coworking spaces and offices. Once you’re here, you’re surrounded by other passionate people that are also building their businesses, in this dynamic environment. What more is there to work for? The connections that we see our members make and the potential for their businesses to organically grow in a space like this is one of the most exciting things to us.
What aspects of your business make you most happy?
Did we mention free beer? Just kidding. We love the mix of people that are coming in and out of the space every day. While a ‘slow day’ may mean fewer people and less work for us – the busy days are the exciting ones.
What makes Urban Office a great space to get work done?
We have something for everyone. Lounge areas, bar areas, full exercise room. No matter how you want to get work done, or what you need to distract yourself and plug back into work – we have it here. The high ceilings and skylights in our common spaces light the space up – even on cloudy days the space glows. It’s hard to be affected by Portland’s winter gloom when you’re sitting in such a bright and cozy environment.
Why do you feel it’s important to support remote workers, freelancers, entrepreneurs and mobile professionals in general?
Large companies provide so many benefits to their employees, from social outings to networking opportunities to actual access to technology. I’ve met many entrepreneurs who have abandoned early stage ventures just out of pure loneliness – they miss those support systems that they once had working for a corporate company. For such a long time, remote workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs just didn’t have access to this sort of community where they are a part of something larger. I think less about the ‘importance’ of supporting these folks, and more about the ‘opportunity’ of it. If we’re able to give these people a place to land, some vital services, some social opportunities, a place to get things done and connect with other people, they should be more likely to succeed. That work feels important to us.
Name two things our audience must know about your space.
The location can’t be beat. We’re in the heart of the South Waterfront, with tons of restaurants, the riverwalk, and so many activities happening everywhere. If you haven’t been down to the South Waterfront recently, now is the time to check it out, and we’re happy to give you a home-away-from-home while you’re here. A gym, a bar, high-speed Wi-Fi, comfortable lounge area – we’ve got it all so that you can really make this community a second home.
What’s the best way for us all to support your business?
Become a member! We’ve only been open for a few months, so we’re still building our membership base. This, of course, means that it’s a great time to become a member—as your voice will be heard and help to guide where we take the space.