If the number of coworking spaces in a city is is any indication of its entrepreneurial health, Chicago is firing on all cylinders.
With competition for desk tenants fierce, coworking spaces are diversifying and expanding their services. Never mind barista-quality coffee, fast Internet access, and virtual office services – now you can find spaces that have perks such as art galleries, recording studios, and even indoor rock climbing and fresh produce and herbs.
The advantages to coworking are numerous.
Besides the financial benefits that sharing space provides, coworking offers access to networking and communities that can be invaluable to any new or growing business.
And, being part of a group of like-minded, driven people can bring focus and energy that you can’t find anywhere else.
With these positives in mind, we’ve gathered together some of the most interesting coworking spaces in Chicago.
20 N Upper Wacker Dr #1200
TechNexus is one of the oldest coworking spaces in Chicago and prides itself as being “the gateway to collaboration for Chicago’s technology leaders.” Since 2007 it’s helped find, fund, and nurture technology companies out of its 65,000 square foot workspace in downtown’s Lyric Opera building.
224 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza
This coworking space gets its name from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but not to commemorate the fire itself. The name is a tribute to the innovation and passion that came after the fire, “a remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers, architects and inventors came together to build a new city.” Located in the Merchandise Mart, this incubator and coworking space offers shared and private office space along with meeting rooms and a diverse slate of events.
600 W Jackson Blvd
1165 N Clark St
Opening 2017: 1720 Division in Wicker Park
Assemble has two locations (with a third to open in 2017 in Wicker Park) that boast gorgeously designed spaces with lots of natural light and close proximity to transit. They offer month-to-month leases that allow tenants to upgrade as needed, a vibrant and engaged community, and complimentary access to printing, copying, utilities, and conference rooms.
2100 S. Canalport Ave.
BLUE 1647 is a coworking space dedicated to fostering collaboration, entrepreneurialism, and creativity across many different disciplines and businesses. In addition to supporting local tech startups, BLUE 1647 also strives to be an education center. Hundreds of Chicago students have learned a wide variety of technology skills at the space.
405 W Superior, Floor 5 & 7
18 South Michigan Avenue, Floor 12
Coalition has six locations, with two located in Chicago and others in New York and Boston. Impact, their River North location, is dedicated to social innovation and boasts over 14,000 square feet spread over two floors. Energy, their second location, is in the historic Gage building in the heart of Chicago’s Loop and focuses on energy-related endeavors.
1 North State Street #1500
541 N. Fairbanks CT Suite 2200
350 N. Orleans Street Suite #9000N
MakeOffices has three locations in Chicago. Their River North location is a good example of what you’ll get from any of their spaces: a large, well-designed space with a full complement of private offices, open desks, and other amenities. The Fairbanks Court location works primarily with health-tech startups, which is appropriate considering it has leased space from Northwestern Memorial Hospital. No matter which location you choose, you’ll find beautiful offices and vibrant coworking communities.
4101 North Broadway
3432 W Diversey Ave Floor 2
The Shift has two locations, one located in Uptown on North Broadway and the second (aptly named “Second Shift”) in Logan Square on Diversey Avenue. Both have a neighborhood feel and have made serious efforts to integrate with the communities they are based out of. Besides the traditional coworking space and packages, people can rent the space for community events and gatherings.
73 W Monroe St.
420 W Huron St.
318 W Adams St.
211 W Wacker Dr.
Level Office is run by Bill Bennett, one of Chicago’s very own entrepreneur powerhouses. Bennett believes in small business, the self-employed, and entrepreneurs and has created a space perfectly suited for their needs. Offering a modern and professional office space from which you can run your business, Level provides fully furnished, technology equipped and amenity-rich workspaces at an affordable rate.
100 S Morgan St.
With research continually pushing evidence that physical exercise is linked to improved mental ability, it makes sense to have a co-working space readily accessible from your local gym. Brooklyn Boulders, with their climbing wall, yoga studio, and sauna, offers just that – all within feet of your desk. With locations in Chicago, Brooklyn, Queens, and Somerville, Massachusetts, it’s clear the work-workout trend is catching on. A place where your body, mind, and fledgling startup are all welcome? Hold my phone calls please, I’m going for a climb.
2141 W. North Ave., 2nd Floor
Free Range Office (FREO) is a coworking and conference space with the lofty goal of promoting productivity, innovation, networking, and work-life balance. They achieve this goal in part by offering members a prime location – a slew of Chicago’s best restaurants and stores are a short walk away. They also carefully designed the 3800sf of space with a feng shui layout offering plenty of natural light, comfortable workspace options, a meeting/conference/seminar room with a 40 person capacity, and a wide array of amenities. How about a fully-equipped chef’s kitchen? Maybe a shower or a peaceful outdoor terrace? If these sound appealing, FREO might be worth checking out.
3455 W North Ave
Picture the best of coworking spaces and your favorite internet cafe, and you get a pretty clear picture of what Homiey offers. Mobile professionals, students, and other independent entrepreneurs can all find a place to focus, collaborate, drink coffee, and ride the caffeine high to productivity. If you need a place for meeting clients, a professional-yet-cozy place for a study group or a change of scenery in your work week, homiey has you covered.
1516 W Carroll Ave
The Roof Crop offers an unusual, idyllic landscape for green seeking entrepreneurs. With plenty of light and an abundance of greenery, Roof Crop is an ideal place to collaborate, create, strategize, and spend some time with nature at Chicago’s finest urban farm.
There’s a co-working and conference room available for booking, and a full-service kitchen and rooftop deck to enjoy the fresh produce available on site from the farm. Daily passes are $30, but you can harvest an entire month’s worth of visits for $310.
Chicago is a vibrant, innovative city with an incredible community of entrepreneurs, and its raft of coworking spaces is a testament to this. No matter what business idea you pursue or creative project you dream up, chances are good that Chicago has a coworking space for you.
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