Shared workspace intended as test case for bigger endeavor
One element of Lake Havasu City’s Vision 20/20 project is taking shape a year after it got started.
The F106 co-work space has a home on London Bridge Road. It’s a pilot project for what the Havasu Partnership for Economic Development hopes will grow into a much larger endeavor.
PED Executive Director James Gray said F106, which opened in March 2018, is the launch pad of what is to come with the larger co-working space Downtown.
Gray explained that co-working is a new way of working and collaborating together. It has the potential to cultivate a small idea into a giant success. It has the power to ignite businesses to their next stage.
“Co-working was first identified in the Vision 2020 Revitalization Plan as an effective tool to help young entrepreneurs build companies in our community,” Gray said. “Facilitating an environment of innovation directly corresponds with the goals of Vision 20/20 as we work together to strengthen the human capital of our community, while facilitating collaborative spaces, events and workshops.
“With over 11,000 co-working facilities in North America, we feel it is important to bring these economic generators and incubators of
entrepreneurism to our community. We are excited about this opportunity for our start up and nomadic companies here in Lake Havasu City,” Gray said. “We want to connect and strengthen our community of startups, freelancers, and distance workers.”
The Partnership for Economic Development funded the space for the pilot program.
“We really felt like before designing and building a large model co-work facility, we should start with a pilot program to understand everything we didn’t know. Better understand what the companies expect,” Gray said.
“Our governing board understands the importance of understanding and developing the market before large capital investments are spent. We have learned a lot about privacy and security, but it has been very beneficial for helping us design a larger model for Lake Havasu City.”
Gray said there are five companies participating in the pilot program with a total of 11 employees.
The PED will use the $400,000 that was part of a $2 million prize Havasu won in a 2017 competition for being one of “America’s Best Communities” to build a permanent facility.
“We are currently in the final stages of designing a facility in which we hope to have open by late summer of 2020,” Gray said.
Gray said the plan is to build an 11,000-square foot co-working facility, focused on developing highly curated shared spaces where members are able to collaborate or work independently with the benefit of multiple levels of professional experience and highly engaged peers.