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A belting visionary told us almost half a century ago that if you could make it here you could make it anywhere. A modern songstress and local rapper promised us that these streets would make us feel brand new, and some Irishmen confessed that here, freedom looks like way too many choices.
Whatever your tune, New York City attracts go-getters, entrepreneurial types, digital nomads, and hopeful dreamers like no other city in the world.
Whether it’s the unparalleled hustle and bustle, endless opportunities for networking and building relationships, or romantic image from a million movies, novels, and songs, many travelers have answered its siren song and made the city their temporary or permanent home.
If you’re looking to do the same, and fire up your freelancing or entrepreneurial career in New York City, it’s incredibly well-stocked with co-working options.
Here we round up six of the best, looking away from the chains and franchises, and focusing on independent spaces in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Unsurprisingly for the city that never sleeps, they’re all open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A much-loved co-working space that has earned praise from major publications and digital nomads alike, The Farm feels more like an oasis than an office environment. With rustic touches and buckets of natural light, this SoHo enclave offers a quiet, breezy environment to help you focus, and forget you’re in the middle of bustling Manhattan.
It occupies the entirety of a 1,500-square meter loft in famed Broadway, and offers conference and nap rooms, private phone booths, and a tree house in addition to its common room and kitchen.
There’s a kitchen on the premises, with free coffee and tea.
Otherwise, this is SoHo, so plenty of chic (though not exactly cheap) options for food abound. There are quick-bite franchises like Le Pain Quotidien or Dean & DeLuca, to healthier options like the salads at Sweetgreen, to classic New York pizza like Saluggi’s on Church St. And of course, you’re never too far away from a Chipotle.
- Dedicated private desk: $319/month
- Dedicated desk in shared space: $179/month
- Day pass: $25/day
Workville holds the honor of being rated the number one co-working space in New York City by Yelp. That could mean pretty much anything, really, but in a city with so many choices, any accolade is worth noting. Popular with Yelpers or not, Workville certainly deserves a mention.
Located in Midtown West, Manhattan, (mere blocks from Times Square, a.k.a the thick of the action, the New York you see on TV, where locals won’t go), this is a spacious, luxurious space.
Open offices and large desks give way to terraces overlooking the busy streets below, and you’re welcome to take your laptop outside and feel, for real, that you’re in New York City.
There’s free coffee in the kitchen. Other than that, this is Times Square, which is fast food central! No joke, the plethora of neon signs right outside the door may leave you in despair, or ready to fall down the franchise rabbit hole (there are more than enough Lobsters, TGIs, and Gardens to go around in this part of town).
However, if you’re willing to walk to Hell’s Kitchen (9th avenue and beyond), you’re bound to find some gems in the form of hole-in-the-wall ethnic eateries. A great one is Tehuiztingo, on 48th & 10th, a no-frills Mexican taquería in the back of a bodega.
For a good cup of coffee, Cupcake on 50th & 9th is where you want to go (ignore the cutesy name, the place is great). If you absolutely must go the fast food route, then block off the noise and head straight for Shake Shack on 44th & 8th.
- Private office: $1,500-$4,500/month
- Dedicated desk in private office: $700/month
- Membership: $500/month
- Day pass: $45
- Conference rooms: $500/day or $75/hour
- Virtual office (use of address): $50/month
If you’ve been building your business for a while now, you’re probably aware of the concept of work/life balance… and just how hard it can be to maintain when working for yourself. Primary is trying hard to help self-employed folk in that quest.
Located in Manhattan’s Financial District (arguably a place that knows a thing or two about work/life balance issues), Primary offers an airy, spacious co-working space with room for 100+ people, and 70 private offices.
There are yoga classes, meditation sessions, healthy snacks, and a packed events calendar on the premises, featuring everything from free headshots to vegan wine tasting to pop-up shops from members.
A second location in West 30th street is coming in summer 2018.
The well-stocked kitchen has organic coffee and tea, juices, and healthy snacks for sale.
Outside, quick snacks abound. The Financial District is a busy business neighborhood, and there are plenty of options for lunch and quick bites including food trucks, usually parked off Hanover Square.
For a touch of history (and a tipple, if it’s 5 pm here or somewhere), head to Stone Street. Just north of Battery Park, this is one of New York’s oldest thoroughfares, with a buzzing row of bars and restaurants. You can’t go wrong with Ulysses, the oldest bar on the street, and Adrienne’s serves some of the best pizza in Lower Manhattan.
- Membership, all access: $400/month ($300 with a three-month commitment)
- Membership, 10 days per month: $300/month
- Virtual office (with two days of co-working space per month, two hours of meeting rooms, and use of address): $100/month
- Day passes and private offices available upon request.
Across the river, Brooklyn also has its share of professional spaces. Electropositive, in Prospect Heights, offers a sense of community and purpose in its 11,000-square-feet converted warehouse.
Membership offers shared spaces, private desks, or offices, conference rooms, and an area for events that’s available to outside companies. The calendar is full of presentations, workshops, and classes, focused on sustainable and non-profit projects.
Membership includes free coffee and snacks.
Like much of Brooklyn, Prospect Heights is gentrifying rapidly, and streets look wildly different from one year to the next. At this point in time, the area around Electropositive is an eclectic mix of old-time diners, ethnic eateries, and hipster cafés. Whatever tickles your fancy, you’ll likely find it here.
Just down the street, Neptune is a classic Brooklyn diner, open 24/7. One block east you’ll find the hopping Franklin Avenue, where you can choose from Mexican fare at Chavela’s, pizza at Barboncino, or the very beloved neighborhood classic Franklin Park Tavern. For coffee, check out Breukelen Coffee.
- Private offices: From $1,200/month
- Dedicated desk: $425/month
- Membership: $300/month
- Membership, three days a week (between 9 am and 9 pm): $160/month
A/D/O is more than a co-working space. This Greenpoint, Brooklyn outpost is a true arts community and designer hub, which besides a working area and shared and private desks (including standing desks), also offers design labs, equipment, and machinery for creators.
Designers will feel the most at home at A/D/O, whether their focus is graphic, web, or art. The calendar is packed with events, workshops, and presentations (non-members and guests are welcome, too), and the nature of the community is collaborative and inspiring.
A/D/O has its own café on the premises. Norman is a Scandinavian-style bakery with sandwiches and small plates.
Greenpoint may not have the hip vibe that Williamsburg or even Bushwick have, but the neighborhood has its share of interesting places to grab a bite. You’ll have the largest array of options a couple of blocks east on Manhattan Avenue, where you can choose from Xi’an-style fare, Polish staples, Spanish tapas, or border-town style Tex-Mex.
- Membership: From $375/month
We have to confess: Spaces is the one exception in our list of independent co-working offices in New York City, but for good reason. The first US outpost of a Europe-based chain picked Long Island City, Queens, to set up shop, choosing one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the city, with the best views to boot.)
Located in the historic Falchi building, Spaces has room for over 250 co-working desks in its 25,000+ square feet, as well as five meeting rooms, and a 900-square-feet business club. Being in an office building like the Falchi has its advantages, too, such as concierge services and dry cleaning.
The Falchi building has been dubbed the “Chelsea Market of Queens” – meaning that food options are plentiful without even leaving the building. You’ll appreciate that whenever New York is going through one of its polar vortexes.
This up and coming urban food court is not yet fully populated, but for now you can make do with the healthy fare at Juice Press, the Russian pies at Stolle, or the disturbingly good khao man gai at the aptly-named Khao Man Gai.
- Private office: starts at $829/month
- Dedicated desk: $400/month
- Membership (shared desk): $300/month
- Meeting room rent: $40/hour
Got any favorite NYC co-working spaces of your own? Let us know about them in the comments!