“We’re named ‘Progress Coworking’ because we’re a work in progress,” says co-owner Joe Phillips, of his shared workspace business located near the Stanley Marketplace. “We don’t worry about being perfect; ours is a laid-back feel, like a coffee shop.”
Progress Coworking, which opened in 2015, provides shared workspace for freelancers, entrepreneurs and corporate employees who work remotely. “Our place works well for people who work at home and need a separation from their home life. Or they’re tired of working in coffee shops because of loud teenagers or a lack of plug-ins. I have three little daughters, so I was having a hard time getting any work done at home,” Phillips said.
Phillips, a real estate broker, started the business with partner Biff Brett when they got excited about the potential for the new Westerly Creek Village area, just south of Stapleton. “We saw what happened when the Stanley Marketplace went in. We thought, ‘This area will be great,’ and we bought a building one block away from the Stanley. Initially we didn’t know what to do with the property, but we decided to work there. We invited a few friends to join us and it turned into a business.”
Phillips and Brett renovated the former 1950s industrial building, which was actually three small connected buildings, keeping the open industrial style and adding glass garage doors to bring in light.
Progress Coworking has fifty members, with space for another 20. The 6,000-square-foot space has about 4,000 square feet of shared space; 20 semi-private dedicated desks; several conference rooms; and some “phone booths”—sound-buffered spaces to make phone calls. The building also has two larger team offices with storefronts and dedicated entrances.
Members at Progress Coworking include mortgage brokers, real estate brokers, software engineers, IT people, marketing professionals and various entrepreneurs. “We have no niche in mind; we want a nice broad mix of people,” Phillips said.
He said Progress Coworking is cheaper than other coworking facilities, especially the big corporate ones. “We’re the mom-and-pop of the coworking world,” said Phillips.
Progress Coworking amenities include snacks, coffee, beer, water and several Wi-Fi networks. Once a month, members are invited to a free happy hour or catered lunch. “We set the table so they can step back from their laptop and get to know each other.”