A 10,000-square-foot co-working space in the Brent Building is coming together and should be open in the spring or summer.
Earlier this year Bobby Switzer purchased the Blount and Brent buildings and plans to renovate them into an office, retail, entertainment and residential complex called One Palafox Place.
Cowork Annex on the second floor of the Brent Building is the first phase of the renovation. It is an unconventional shared workplace environment led by six Pensacola investors — Michael Murdoch, Joel Smith, Bobby Switzer, Michael Carro, Teresa Dos Santos and Ellis Bullock III.
“This second floor has been empty for the past 60 years,” said Giffney Nagel, who will manage the Cowark Annex. “We want to turn this floor into an exciting place for entrepreneurs and startups.”
Coworking spaces allow entrepreneurs, business startups, independent contractors and freelancers to rent desk space and have access to conference rooms, receptionists, internet and a kitchen area for a price not much more than a gym membership.
“People will be able to rent spaces for a week or months at a time,” said Nagel.
People attending EntreCon, a two-day event for entrepreneurs at the Rex Theater, will get a preview of the space on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 social.
Watch of video of Nagel giving a tour of the Cowork Annex as it comes together.
The space is meant to encourage collaboration.
“This will be like no other workplace,” said managing partner Bobby Switzer. “The Annex will be a community that is intentionally curated to provide a social, educational, creative and collaborative culture that values people over companies and accelerates our members’ and sponsors’ businesses and initiatives in a refreshingly new way.”
Cowork Annex will include a 10-gigabit-per-second Internet connection. It also will boast specialized conference rooms, touch-screen displays, a full kitchen, a zen zone and a private gym all situated above a new coffee shop.
“What all successful companies have in common is that they had a place to start and grow,” said AppRiver co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Joel Smith. “Our mission with the Annex is to provide that fertile landscape for new and innovative companies.”
Cowork Annex plans to offer a variety of membership pricing levels based on usage, space and desk requirements. Members will have the flexibility of coworking for a day or a month in lounge areas, hot desks and dedicated desks.
For more established groups and startups, semi-private and private office space will also be available. Cowork Annex is researching comparable city markets to come up with a pricing index.
“By creating this community, we hope to galvanize Pensacola’s existing business leaders, as well as the next generation of leaders,” adds Switzer. “We see Pensacola’s recent business growth trend and want to help take it to the next level.”