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The CoWerk Space to be the Latest Addition to Co-Work Operations Downtown

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

The Historic Drew Building, which was most recently used by the Folio, is introducing The CoWerk Space, comprising spaces for lease.

Women entrepreneurs wanting to move to Downtown Jacksonville but who want a flexible lease could soon see another opportunity in an old building seeking a new start.

A Downtown commercial space formerly leased by the Folio is slated for transformation into professional space for lease to businesses, startups, co-work tenants and people who need meeting facilities or a place to meet new people.

It will join several similar operations in Downtown.

Signs are posted on the Bay Street building, work is beginning and completion is expected for a January opening in what the new owner considers “woman-centric and affordable space in a great location.”

The CoWerk Space Principal and founder of Women at Werk Stephanie A. Jones said her organization looks to “empower female entrepreneurs at every stage in business.”

She said coworking allows women to surround themselves with other like-minded women and create synergy while working.

Called The CoWerk Space, the location at 45 W Bay St. represents a step forward from a promise Jones made at the start of 2021 after being selected by Beyoncé and the NAACP as a recipient for grant funding.

The concept, through Women at Werk, LLC, leased the space in September with renovations set to conclude in late November.

Jones said the organization will invest about $25,000 into the renovations, interiors, furniture, fixtures, equipment and other costs.

The Women at Werk CoWerk Space will comprise private offices, office suites, coworking desks, virtual office services, meeting and event space, a photography studio, conference rooms and amenities.

The CoWerk Space, the first of many future locations, focuses on small businesses, self-employed people and entrepreneurs that are female. It operates in downtown Jacksonville. Its tag line is “creating a culture of community.”

“I see Jacksonville as one of the premier growth markets in the country,” Jones said. “People want to relocate here. It’s a great place to live because it’s got a high quality of life and countless opportunities for small business growth.”

She said no additional Jacksonville sites are anticipated, although the organization would be willing to create another if demand warrants.

Women at Werk’s core business with The CoWerk Space is to lease to one-to 3-person companies while providing a wide range of amenities.

In Jacksonville, Jones said the organization plans for about 3 private offices and 1,600 square feet of co-working space, a boardroom, and a photography studio, along with event and collaborative areas.

The historic Drew building was built in 1902 and originally housed the H. & W. B. Drew Company. For well over a century the Drew Company was one of Jacksonville's oldest businesses, and one of the oldest businesses in Florida in continuous operation.

Property records show the two-story structure is 12,639 square feet. Each of the floors ranges from about 1600 to 4200 square feet. Women at Werk will share the building with popular coffee shop, Urban Grind Coffee along with Techspert Services and Your CBD Store. All share Bay Street and are walkable to the Wells Fargo and Vystar towers, Bank of America and are 1 block from the Jax Chamber and (old) Jacksonville Landing.

The covered atrium is an urban garden, which was recently renovated with wood decking, a fire pit, tables and chairs - a great spot to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee. “It has a unique urban feel that you'll find nowhere else in Jacksonville,” Jones said.

The Cost to Work

Jones says private office rents start from $725 a month; co-working starts at $79.99 monthly; and virtual office services begin at $49.99. Photography studio reservations will also be available starting at $75. Rents can be structured from a day to a year, Jones said.

The CoWerk Space will offer daily passes for co-working, while most of the co-working members will be monthly.

Jones expects up to 3 tenants in the space and coworking members revolving in even larger numbers. Her “ideal tenant” pays $725 to $850 a month.

Rent includes high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, private offices, secured access, company logo display, on-site management and utilities and taxes.

Shiya Scott, will manage the office.

A Competitive Business

Jones started Women at Werk in 2017. By introducing a unique asset like The CoWerk Space her organization will become 1 of 2 black-owned, woman-owned co-working operations in the downtown Jacksonville area.

Her inspiration was personal. “I was looking for cool and affordable office space in a great location that was specific to women, and it didn’t exist,” she said.

Jones said she consulted with other entrepreneurs and business executives and created The CoWerk Space as an extension to Women at Werk, which was named by Jones herself.

“CoWerk” refers to the importance of empowerment and helping women business owners take their small business from idea to launch, scale and exit.

Jones said tenants will range from startups, professional services, boutique owners, makeup artists, marketing, media, and nonprofits.

“We believe there is a large pent-up demand,” she said. “Entrepreneurs of color, especially women, need a space to call ours. A place to collaborate with other like-minded women about her business.”

The CoWerk Space membership does not include parking. There is a parking garage attached to the building at the Bay Street entry, she said.

Women at Werk and The CoWerk Space would join several more Downtown Northbank venues that lease offices to small businesses, co-workers and entrepreneurs who don’t need space on long-term rents.

“We are like their escape from their home offices and cubicles,” Jones said, allowing them “to be around a new crowd.”

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