After being named the No. 1 most innovative co-working space in the United States, Co+Hoots isn’t stopping there. The entrepreneurial focused company is set to expand to Downtown Mesa in the fall of 2019.
Co+Hoots is a collaborative shared office space that currently supports hundreds of entrepreneurs at its Phoenix location.
With Co+Hoots’ midtown Phoenix location only being open for two years, the company just shared it will be moving into a new location in Downtown Mesa which is planned to open in late 2019.
Co+Hoots will be the anchor office tenant at an upcoming $59 million mixed-use project dubbed The GRID, which will be located near the Benedictine University in Downtown Mesa. Mesa Mayor John Giles announced the project during his State of the City address in early February. Palladium Enterprises will be developing the project, which will include residential and retail components.
When Co+Hoots first started looking into expanding into different locations or cities, Co+Hoots Founding Member Odeen Domingo said they knew they didn’t want to go somewhere that already had co-working spaces that entrepreneurs could go to.
Domingo said, “Not Chicago, not New York, not San Francisco, not L.A., not places that already have these incubators, all of the co-working spaces and all of these resources that people there can already go to.”
“We wanted to go to emerging cities that didn’t necessarily have a central hub to bring the community together,” Domingo said. “Mesa has an awesome local community, a downtown that is definitely emerging and we wanted to be that central hub for that small business slash startup slash entrepreneurial communities.”
The Downtown Mesa location is projected to be in a 13,500-square-foot space that will house hundreds of entrepreneurs and companies in addition to Co+Hoots’ current location. The new space will feature twenty private offices, weekly “lunch and learns,” and a collaboration with Benedictine University to offer students scholarships, mentorship, internship and career opportunities.
Co+Hoots was founded in 2010 after husband and wife duo, Jenny Poon and Odeen Domingo, needed an office space to house their design and branding company, Eeko Studio. When spare bedroom work spaces and Starbucks meetings just weren’t cutting it, Domingo says they looked to find a small space in Downtown Phoenix to support their business.
“There wasn’t anything like that, a small space that we could afford to go into. It just didn’t exist then,” Domingo said. “We wanted to just get a larger office, put in people that we knew and kind of pull in our resources and have a shared office space.”
The current central Phoenix space features open desks for individual freelancers and entrepreneurs, open offices, private offices and a classroom that features a weekly “lunch and learn” provided by the Co + Hoots Foundation that community manager, Justine Spender, said focuses on building equity through entrepreneurship.
“All of their stuff is free,” Spender said. “So, anyone who can’t really afford that business education can come and learn different topics.”
While touring the facility, one might notice the typography and design elements incorporated on just about every wall, sign, flyer or business card in the building.
“As you walk around you’ll kind of see graphic elements in different places. Jenny, our co-founder, has a design background and so she really likes the space to be engaging and kind of intriguing in the way that it’s designed and looks.”
The company prides itself in not only being design oriented, but also the No. 1 overall co-working space in the state, No. 2 overall in the nation and No. 9 overall in the world.
“WhatCo + Hoots is now is obviously bigger than we ever imagined it could be,” Domingo said.
The company has hundreds of entrepreneurs and companies circulate through their space, all varying in different fields of interest and gaining new ones along the way.
“At first we were just going to keep it as a space for the creative industry, but we opened it up to the community because when you open it up to the community and bring in other people with different skills and knowledge and experience, you get more experience and knowledge and skills,” Domingo said.
Co + Hoots member of almost 2 years, Marisha McGrorty said before the company she struggled productivity and mindset. McGrorty is the CEO and founder of SLP Now, an online membership program that offers tools and resources to help other Speech Language Pathologists.
“I came here looking for a place where I could focus and get work done, but it ended up being way more than that,” McGrorty said. “It’s really motivating to be around other entrepreneurs who are doing the same things and bouncing ideas off of each other and feeding off of that energy.”