We’re calling it: 2015 was the year of the startup space. The Triangle area saw an explosion of new spaces open over the last 12 months, and plans already taking shape for at least three more in 2016.
American Underground and HQ Raleigh, the region’s largest startup communities, have been vocal about their challenges in expanding. Demand for more space continues, while the prices of real estate go up around them. And yet, the Triangle remains one of the least expensive places to lease space in the nation.
Both the cost of operating a business and the strength of the startup community helps to explain why companies like WillowTree Apps, Avalara, Queue Software and Cultures for Health have either moved to the Triangle or expanded their offices here. Most startup community leaders expect even more moves to the Triangle to occur as the region’s profile elevates nationally.
With all of these new spaces, and more to come, hopefully the Triangle will be able to balance the supply with demand and keep its affordability while doing so. Check out our recap of the spaces that opened in 2015 (and more to come).
It all started in January, when RTP opened its experimental free coworking space called The Frontier in an area that will eventually be part of its Park Center redevelopment. Open to anyone in the Triangle, the bottom floor of the building includes a variety of types of desks and meeting space, along with free coffee and frequent happy hours, as well as a community garden, food truck rodeos and all sorts of public events.
On the upper floors, freelancers and small companies have filled the available office space and construction is underway on more private offices as well as a large space for the new North Carolina Open Newsroom Cooperative, a sort of incubator for media innovators. That’s scheduled to open near the end of the first quarter of 2016.
Visit The Frontier on any weekday, and nearly every couch, chair and table will be occupied. It’s safe to say this space has filled a void for free and convenient community gathering space in the Triangle.