The coworking trend is coming to Carytown as a local operator from the West End looks to open a second location.
Carytown Coworking is slated to open on Nov. 1 at 3429 W. Cary St. At the helm of the concept is Juri Miller, who also owns working-parent-focused coworking space Balance RVA on Patterson Avenue in Henrico County.
Miller said she saw a demand for what she described as a “boutique” experience after Balance RVA opened its doors in June 2019. She’s also driven to expand by her hunch that COVID will sustain a demand for flexible workplace arrangements.
“Our approach of creating a smaller, closer-knit community connected by core values has done really well at BRVA, and I believe it is the main reason we actually thrived during COVID. I also cater to much more targeted populations (such as working parents for BRVA) and am not afraid to design centers that I know won’t appeal to everyone,” she said in an email. “Lastly, with COVID, I anticipated that the demand for flexible work space in general would increase.”
Carytown Coworking is taking over the 6,000-square-foot former Old World Accents building, which Miller bought for $1.3 million in July, according to city property records.
Renovations are underway. Miller declined to comment on the renovation budget.
The space will feature two main conference rooms with wall-mounted 80-inch smart boards and other audio-and-visual equipment, as well as five smaller rooms with the same technology. It won’t offer private offices.
Monthly memberships will range from $150 for a limited-access package (which includes eight days of usage per month during regular business hours) to $250 for a full-access package (which includes 24/7 access and unrestricted usage of Balance RVA), according to the Carytown Coworking website.
Miller expects to cap membership at Carytown Coworking at about 60 to 75 people. The new space also will offer single-use passes.
Miller spent more than 20 years in banking and finance before she made the jump to coworking, a move motivated by what she found to be a more difficult work-life balance with the birth of her first child. Miller is also COO of USA Homebuyers, a real estate investment firm owned by her husband Todd Miller.
While the need for childcare inspired Balance RVA’s focus on working parents, Miller said she decided not to use the Balance brand for the new Carytown concept because she felt it wouldn’t be the right fit for the neighborhood.
“It goes back to my philosophy regarding catering to very specific markets. In the West End, where BRVA (Balance) is located, there is an abundance of working parents with young children who love the idea of coworking with childcare,” she said. “This is not the case in Carytown. So I had to create something that was more appropriate for the market down here.”
Carytown Coworking is among a new wave of ventures that are setting up in the neighborhood.
Startup clinic chain Carbon Health is preparing to open at Carytown Place, while bagel shop Chewy’s Bagels is rising in the former Jean Jacques Bakery storefront. Chop Suey Books will change hands in a deal expected to close today.