Coworking Spaces in the East Bay
A new generation of shared work spaces takes off in Oakland, Danville, San Ramon, and more.
With the boom in the gig-based economy and increasingly flexible employers, remote workers and entrepreneurs are hunkering down in the East Bay’s growing legion of coworking spaces. The best of these spots combine the practical—conference rooms, speedy Wi-Fi, and private phone areas—with unexpected perks that keep the day from feeling like a typical 9-to-5 grind.
Best for: Women seeking wellness in their workday
Vibe: This stylish, plant-filled space offers you socks to slip on when you enter, free-flowing herbal teas, and inviting blue velvet couches. It almost feels like a friend’s warm home.
Amenities: A fitness studio with daily classes, a Peloton bike, and a treadmill; a meditation room; a kitchen and café serving fresh organic salads; and discounts on in-house wellness treatments.
Bonus: Don’t miss the dedicated podcast/vlogcast room, where you can communicate your message to the masses in peace.
Sound byte: “Sphere was built as a space for women to be … in a community that is diverse and inclusive, where wisdom, creativity, and social awareness can be shared individually or as a collective,” says cofounder and COO Marielle Lorenz. atmysphere.com.
The Den on School Street, Danville
Best for: Style-savvy weekday warriors
Vibe: Fashioned after swanky “members-only” clubs, The Den on School Street transformed a Victorian building into a hip hangout for anyone seeking a high-end feel, with tufted leather couches, striking light fixtures, and midcentury modern decor.
Amenities: In addition to basics such as coffee and tea, The Den boasts cleaning and mail services, plus bike storage.
Bonus: If someone you refer becomes a member, you’ll receive a gift card to Revel Kitchen and Bar or Esin Restaurant and Bar for a night on the town.
Sound byte: “We’ve hit a nerve here,” says Todd Weinberg, The Den’s founder and owner. “It’s clear that many folks are looking to get out of typical large, sterile office spaces and into more community-based, cool-vibe, collaborative, shared work spaces.” thedenonschool.com.
BRIIA, San Ramon
Best for: Entrepreneurs and start-ups looking for a leg up
Vibe: Short for Bishop Ranch Intelligence Innovation Accelerator, BRIIA aids entrepreneurs via its Accelerator Program, which pairs start-ups with mentors and investors.
Amenities: An on-site community manager; drinks and snacks; a massage chair; happy hours and events; and frequent speaker talks covering everything from prepping for investor interest to securing funding.
Bonus: Membership includes access to the EasyMile autonomous shuttle—the first of its kind in the United States—for scooting around Bishop Ranch.
Sound byte: “The Tri-Valley has tech companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators, but there wasn’t a place for them to work, connect, and collaborate,” says founder and executive director Les Schmidt. “So BRIIA was born.” briia.io.
More Distinctive Spots
Other local coworking spaces are ideal for independent artists, growing tech firms—or anyone looking to create, innovate, orchestrate, or speculate.
SpaceIN Art Studio, Pleasanton
Designed with both traditional and digital artists in mind, this studio-share program grants creative types four-hour blocks of time multiple days a week to create and invent among like-minded artists. Each member gets an easel, in addition to a table and chair. Adult art classes are offered, too. spaceinartstudio.com.
The Switch, Livermore
Entrepreneurs and “hard tech” innovators mingle at this two-level facility, which encompasses conventional office spaces as well as a 9,000-square-foot industrial lab. “Our members run the gamut from web design and development firms to aerospace and biotech,” says executive director Brandon Cardwell, who notes that collaboration often takes place between the diverse businesses. Engineers benefit from The Switch’s relationship with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories, and cloud computing services are available to all members. theswitch.io.
Industrious, Walnut Creek
This national chain of upscale coworking venues is set to open a space in Broadway Plaza by the end of 2019. Members get access to in-house concierge services, daily snacks (including fresh pastries and fruit), and a curated speaker series featuring panels of experts from various fields. There’s also a “wellness room,” for nursing mothers and those needing a little R and R. industriousoffice.com.