Spur Coworking to open downtown in July

Future home of Spur Coworking in downtown NorthfieldMegan Allen Tsui, Executive Director of the Northfield Enterprise Center,  announced on the Northfield Coworking blog yesterday (Spur has a home) that they’d signed a lease for 1,400 sq. ft. of space above Dance N’ Fitness and Jenkin’s Jewelers at 313 1/2 Division St.  Opening will be in early July.

Among the pluses, according to Megan: high ceilings, wood floors, entrance on Division, street level entrance off of the 5th Street parking lots, handicapped accessible.

And about the name, Spur Coworking? (Does it have a hyphen or not?) Megan wrote on Nfld Patch a couple weeks ago:

Spur can stand for several things- sure, it’s what cowboys wear to make their horses (or businesses?) go faster, but it is also a verb that means "to accelerate." We hope that it is a good descriptor of what we hope coworking does for our community.

I’m guessing (hoping?) that the name "The Spur" will catch on, for example,  "It’s too noisy at the Blue Monday at that hour. Let’s meet at the Spur instead."

No word yet on membership rates or how the space will be configured and furnished.

8 comments to  (Including 2 Discussion Threads) Spur Coworking to open downtown in July

  • 1
    Griff Wigley says:

    It’s not too soon to discuss rules and policies for working at the Spur. For example, I’ve been in coworking spaces where people talk on their cell phones right in the middle of the common work space. That’s a show-stopper for me because the research shows that the brain can’t easily ignore it. See this Scientific American article: Cell Bound: Why It Is Hard to Ignore Public Mobile Phone Conversations.

    Emberson and her co-authors recently published a study that helps explain why hearing only one half of a cell phone conversation is so aggravating, yet so captivating. The researchers argue that such “half-alogues,” as they dub them, make for dissonant eavesdropping because they are unpredictable. The less information we glean from a conversation, the harder our brains work to make sense of what we hear and the more difficult it is to stop listening.

  • 2
    Megan Tsui says:

    Griff,
    Thanks for the plug. I would love to hear more about what will make this place work for members…I agree about cell phones usage and distraction. What we hope to create is a community driven space…the community will come up with rules and a process for dealing with issues. What else would be important to folks that want to use this space?

    As for furniture- we plan on doing very little that is permanent. We want to get the space up and running with only things that move- so that as members use the space we can react to the needs and wants as we go forward.

  • 3
    Megan Tsui says:

    Oh, one more thing, Griff..

    Instead of “It’s too noisy at Blue Monday at that hour, let’s meet at the Spur instead”…

    I hope you’ll say “It’s too noisy at Blue Monday at that hour, let’s grab a coffee there and then head over to the Spur”.

    We love that we are close to all of the coffee shops downtown and that it will be easy for our members and visitors to continue to support them.

  • 4
    Bob Gilbertson says:

    I’m very happy to hear of this development. Who owns the Spur? Who is taking whatever financial risk is associated with starting it?

    • 4.1
      Megan Tsui says:

      Bob,

      The Northfield Enterprise Center (of which, I’m the Director) has received funding from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the Northfield EDA to support this venture. We believe that it will be fully self-sustaining after the first year. So, sure, we are taking on the risk, but we, along with the community, also get to celebrate the sweet rewards- new and expanded businesses, a great recruitment tool, and most importantly — a fantastic place to work for all of the consultants, freelancers, and creative folks in our community.

      Thanks for your question!

  • 5
    Griff Wigley says:

    Megan, can you provide more details on what the $40,000 in grant money (SMIF and EDA) will be used for?

    • 5.1
      Megan Tsui says:

      Griff,

      The majority of the funding will go to the following:
      - Build-out
      - Furniture
      - Staffing- I will be able to increase the amount of time I spend with clients, and we’ll be adding a part time receptionist position
      - Programs for companies as part of the incubation/acceleration programs

      Megan

  • 6
    Griff Wigley says:

    I hung out at the Spur a few times last week midst construction. They open for business today with a Grand Opening scheduled for Thursday.

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