Astoria, Long Island City
Mar 31, 2016

Coworking in Astoria and LIC

Curious about coworking? Here are several great spaces in Astoria and LIC that offer terrific coworking options.

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Photo credit: Spaces

Coworking has truly made its mark in Queens, complete with gorgeous spaces and comprehensive services available to pretty much anyone working independently. And even small companies can lease a larger office in a coworking space and benefit from the community vibe—coffee, classes, and conviviality are paramount in this world.

Here are coworking spaces in Astoria and LIC that have a lot to offer, from shared work space to private offices. Plus we’ve got a wild card coworking space just for the month of April.

Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

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Photo credit: Brooklyn Boulders

The vibe at BK Boulders couldn’t be more different from the other local coworking spaces, mostly because it combines work, life, and play under one roof in what they call an “active collaborative workspace.” Physical activity is a key element here, and it’s not uncommon for people to break for a workout during the day.

“We provide the benefits of physical stimulation to our members and guests, breaking the convention of a monotonous 9-5 job that is usually chained to a desk,” explains Cyrena Lee, marketing manager with the organization. “It’s about being able to work, take a break, climb on a wall—and indulge in a completely different type of mental problem solving—go to a yoga class, or blow off steam in the sauna. And then there’s the community aspect—we’ve had people meet their co-founders in our spaces (Rocketbook is a good example), dream up new companies, find new jobs, etc. It’s a whole new level of collaboration in a diverse community.”

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Photo credit: Brooklyn Boulders

Jesse Levin, creator of the co-working space idea at Brooklyn Boulders, says, “This is not your typical workspace at all, it’s not meant to be polished or quiet. The entire premise of this project is physicality stimulates innovation and creativity, and blurring the lines within work, life, and play.”

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Photo credit: Brooklyn Boulders

The coworking space, part of the 25,000 square foot facility, also offers conventional services those accustomed to coworking come to expect—free WiFi, a comfy lounge area, communal tables, as well as standing desks accompanied by pull-up bars, desks with balance balls as chairs, and some quiet spaces as well. And as far as the places to get your physical activity on, there’s the climbing wall and climbing instruction, personal training, state-of the art fitness equipment, weights, as well as classes—bootcamp, yoga, and capoeira. Add in a sauna, cafe, events, and an art gallery, and it’s a pretty amazing package.

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Photo credit: Brooklyn Boulders

To give it a try, take advantage of their day pass special—a day at Brooklyn Boulders plus gear for $28. You can see the full range of membership options, here.

Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge (23-10 41st Ave, Long Island City. 718-482-7078)
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

QNS Collective

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Photo credit: QNS Collective

QNS Collective, born and bred right here in the borough, has been in the Queens coworking business since 2013, making them the veteran of the group; they actually were the first dedicated coworking space in Queens. And while the bulk of their business is in making shared work space available, how they impact the surrounding community was and is also very important to them. Argentina Flores, one of QNS Collective’s owners, tells us, “While we provide affordable work space, our true service is community. Since our launch, we’ve offered member and non-members workshops and events in business development, design and technology.” Here’s a list of upcoming events.

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Photo credit: QNS Collective

A lot of their business comes via word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from existing members (and visitors), and over the years they’ve worked with over 200 members. Their location is great, too—on a quiet side street right in the heart of the Kaufman Arts District.

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Photo credit: QNS Collective

One of the perks of being a QNS Collective member is being able to benefit from the company’s partnerships with a variety of businesses that provide discounts on services like healthcare, bookkeeping and business loans. Membership itself includes—besides access to your desk—a solid commercial grade internet, meeting and conference rooms, office services (e.g., fax, printer, copier), reception, a stocked kitchen with free COFFEED coffee, and more. It’s also a pleasant space to be in, with wooden floors, high ceilings, and a comfy lounge area at the front.

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Photo credit: QNS Collective

If you’re looking to set up shop at QNS Collective, they are offering some discounts, including one month free with these prepaid packages:

Coworking—$255 a month when you pre-pay 3 months (total: $765, plus one month free)
Dedicated Desk—$350 a month when you pre-pay 3 months (total: $1,050, plus one month free). This deal includes 24/7 access.

Private offices are $500 a month.

QNS Collective (36-27 36th Street, Astoria/LIC. 718-280-5122)
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Spaces

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Photo credit: Spaces

Spaces, with origins in The Netherlands, has been open in the Falchi Building since early 2016; this LIC location is the very first in the US. The vibe there is comfortable and friendly, the decor is stylish and approachable, and there are a variety of space configurations, even in the communal coworking areas. Kristy Whitwell, Spaces’s community manager, says, “Our environment is unique. Our different seating areas lend themselves to team meetings, quiet time in the sun on a Vitra couch, or a lunch with a client at one of many booths. We don’t just have communal working tables.”

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Photo credit: Spaces

In line with coworking’s philosophy, nurturing community is an active effort at Spaces. There are events for tenants and members that range anywhere from seasonal celebrations (they recently held an Easter Egg Hunt, to wine and cocktail tastings (Astoria Distilling is just downstairs), to ping pong tournaments. Professional development opportunities like networking and pitch events also happen, and of course there are guest speakers that stop by from time to time. It’s definitely a mix of professional and casual, but most of all they want people to have a good time regardless of the premise of the event.

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Photo credit: Spaces

Community extends to connecting with local businesses to incorporate their products into the coworking space—for instance, they get their fresh flowers from Petals & Roots, and some of their coffee from Astoria’s own Native Roasters. There is also art on the walls from the 5Pointz (RIP) crew. Kristy says, “We have a fantastic relationship with 5pointz founder Meresone and his crew. His first wall since the whitewash was done in one of our tenant lounges. Artist See_TF (Carlos Game) drew our company manifesto and Lexi Bella live painted a canvas for us at our grand opening party.”

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Photo credit: Spaces

And then there is the dedication to their members. “Besides the beautiful European decor (literally shipped over from Holland), our customer service stands out,” remarks Kristy. “The Spaces team greets each guest and helps tenants do their jobs better by going above and beyond (happily). We strive to know each tenant by name and how we can better serve them.”

Here’s the current pricing in the shared space area:

1 month—$300
3 months—$275/month
6 months—$250/month
12 months—$225/month

That includes things like access to the social business club, reduced rates on meeting rooms, being able to participate in their community and events program, and reception services. If you’re interested in pricing for private office space, check this PDF (NB: External means it has direct windows in the office).

For those of you that are curious and want to see what Spaces is all about, We Heart Astoria readers can try Spaces out for a day for free. Email nyc.longislandcity@spacesworks.com to schedule a day pass (Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm). They’ll even spot you your first coffee!

We’ve also learned that there are two sought-after private one desk offices that will be available starting May 1. It can be had with a 1, 3, 6, or 12 month lease, but with a 12 month lease you get the lowest rate of $540 a month. A full business club membership comes with that private office—which means you’d have access to any Spaces around the globe, too.

One month leases are available on request.

Spaces New York (Falchi Building, 31-00 47th Avenue, Long Island City)
Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram

WeWork

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Photo credit: WeWork

The newest coworking space in Queens is WeWork, located above Studio Square on 36th Street. We took a tour of the the space while it was under construction and boy, does it look different now! The photos show a lot of people working in various setups—in communal spaces (inside and out—there is a terrace), quieter spots set off to the side, and we know there are plenty of private offices on location, too.

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Photo credit: WeWork

They emphasize their closeness to Manhattan (“Only ten minutes away from Midtown.”) but are proud of the work they are doing in Queens to help the creator in each of their clients thrive, grow, and achieve goals in a stimulating atmosphere. They strongly credit their community and culture of idea exchange and collaboration as what sets them apart from the rest. You never know who you’ll meet there, or what project might bloom from a chance encounter.

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Photo credit: WeWork

As for what they offer, the space itself has a contemporary and comfortable look, with additional warmth from the surrounding plants and artwork on the walls. A I mentioned earlier, there’s a terrace, so working outside on a nice day could be an option for some. As a WeWork member, you get to enjoy all of that, as well as high speed internet, printing services, and access to conference rooms. There’s also a coffee lounge and weekly events for members (click on Astoria to find the ones at the Studio Square location), and there’s an on-site community manager to help you with whatever you need.

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Photo credit: WeWork

Pricing ranges from a shared office desk for $530-$550 a month, to a 1 person office for $650-$900 a month, all the way up to a 9 person office at $5,310-$5,360 a month; even larger spaces are available by arrangement. They also offer a “flexible membership” at $45/month.

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Photo credit: WeWork

WeWork Studio Square (35-37 36th Street, Astoria. 855-593-9675)
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Coworking Month at QED

qed-coworking-astoria-queensQED, one of Astoria’s great community spaces, is getting into the coworking business for the month of April 2016 only. Doors open at 9am, and “coworking happy hour” starts with coffee (from local roasters Vassilaros & Sons) and tea for just a buck a cup. Happy hour pricing later in the day for beer & wine will also be available, and there will be an expanded food menu (including breakfast items such as muffins, yogurt, cereal, and a self-serve bagel station). Check in to cowork five times, and you’ll be rewarded with an Admit Two pass to see a show at QED.

There will be free WiFi, printing, faxing and scanning services, too. “Our regular customers kept griping that when they wanted to get out of their apartment and away from roommates to get some good ‘coffee shop’ work done, the one good place with coffee, wifi, and outlets had no seats left or everyone was crammed together,” said QED owner Kambri Crews. “We have plenty of space and tables that sit empty during the day, so we are responding to this need. As a bonus, we have office supplies and excellent coffee and pastries.”

Coworking Happy Hours at QED in April*:
Monday—9am-6pm
Tuesday—9am-7pm
Wednesday—9am-7pm
Thursday—9am-7pm
Friday—9am-4:30pm
Saturday—9am-4:30pm
Sunday—9am-4:30pm

*They welcome you to stay past these hours to work if the first scheduled show is not sold out.

Q.E.D. (27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria. 347-451-3873)
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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