Co-Working NYC: An Inside Look at The Yard
Editor’s Note: This post is part of our two-month-long series on co-working spaces, which typically runs on Mondays. Stay tuned to YoungEntrepreneur.com for more updates.
Nestled between McCarren Park and Williamsburg's main thoroughfare, Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn-based co-working space The Yard has hosted its fair share of successful startups. Before being acquired by Yahoo, travel recommendation site Wanderfly set up shop there, along with current startups INDmusic, the online music network representing the creators of The Harlem Shake and Spotflux, a security company that raised $1 million last year.
As Brooklyn grows as a hot bed for creative industries, we wanted to take a look at what The Yard has to offer young entrepreneurs.
Space lowdown: Located at 33 Nassau Avenue on the cusp of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the co-working space is housed in a converted warehouse, a spot also home to a beer garden, a daycare and a fitness center. The Yard's 14,000 square-foot space is located on the second floor and is chock full of conference rooms and collaborative work areas for its current 100 startups. Besides being a place for entrepreneurs to work, The Yard also hosts weekly events including art exhibitions, lectures, films and workshops. Because of demand, The Yard will be opening up a new location in the Lower East Side in June.
The back story: Real estate pros Morris Levy and Richard Beyda co-founded the place in November of 2011 with the hopes of opening a creative-focused environment, something they believed was missing in most shared workspaces.
“When I was looking at other co-working facilities, I really didn’t want to be at any of them,” says Levy, recalling several Manhattan offices he toured. He decided on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area because of how much more open and friendly people were to independent collaboration.
The space has gone from a few companies during its inception to a 95 percent capacity brain tank.
The scoop: Due to its massive space, The Yard still has a few openings in its Brooklyn location and is currently taking applications for its Lower East Side space. If you are wanting to snag a spot, the team is looking for engaging companies in any market. "The industry almost doesn't matter but what does matter is that they're approaching their industry in creative, ambitious ways," says The Yard's creative director Andy Smith.
Who’s there: From ventures like a shoe-lace business to a live-streaming night club, the startups at The Yard run the gamut but all have the common thread of being creative.
"The type of businesses here are really kind of special," says K.C. MacLeod, the founder of subscription-based streaming service Vyer Films. "A lot of startups are based around just code. Here, people are involved with a lot of different disciplines."
Cost: The Yard offers startups one of the most inexpensive options on the market. Starting at $195 a month, entrepreneurs can grab a spot at one of the tables in the Yard’s communal lounge. If looking for a bit more privacy, companies can rent one of The Yard's 90 suites -- which start at $395 for one person and can exceed $1,195 for groups of three or more.
Think you have what it takes? Contact The Yard for more information about openings.
For your startup, what do you take into consideration when deciding where to work? Let us know in the comments below.
Casey Halter is a recent graduate of New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, where she majored in journalism and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. She is currently interning at Smart + Strong Media.