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The New Workplace

It’s a bold, new world out there. As more people go freelance or work remotely, coworking facilities have sprung up to meet demand for spaces that bridge the gap between home, a café, and an office. Here are a few options in the East Bay.


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Courtesy of The Port

Laptop Lounge

Location: Halfway between Walnut Creek BART and downtown.
Vibe: Probably the most suburban of all the East Bay coworking facilities, with two receptionists and a modern, business-chic decor that appeals to an established professional work crowd.  
Seating: Ranges from communal tables, to comfy couches in the lounge, to private desks. Plus, a conference room with views of Mount Diablo and a private “phone booth” for making calls.
Cost: Monthly membership: $50–$495. Pay as you go: $35 per day.
Bonus: Weekly educational and networking events, free for members.
(925) 482-8300, laptoplounge.biz.
 

Courtesy of Third Workplace

Third Workplace

Location: In the new Contra Costa Center/Pleasant Hill BART development.
Vibe: Eco-hip, with reclaimed wood, succulents, and big photos of misty “treescapes.” You’re more likely to see a grad student here than a lawyer.
Seating: The large central working space is filled with communal tables, and surrounded by private workspaces and conference rooms.
Cost: Monthly membership: $99–$399. Pay as you go: $6 per hour.
Bonus: If you want a change of scenery, an S.F. location will open next.  
(925) 482-0910, thirdworkplace.com.
 

The Port

Location: Two facilities in Jack London Square, with a quick walk to ever-expanding restaurant options for lunch.
Vibe: At the Washington Street location, several of the private rooms are rented out full-time by lawyer types, giving a buttoned-down, professional feel. At the newer Broadway space, the fun, casual vibe includes a spiral slide.
Seating: Communal seating, private offices, and conference rooms.
Cost: Monthly membership: $200–$300.
Bonus: Both locations have game rooms with billiards and Ping-Pong to work off any stress.
(800) 900-0506, portoffices.com.
 

Impact Hub

Location: On the fourth floor of downtown Berkeley’s David Brower Center. Tenants in the LEED–platinum building are dedicated to green business.
Vibe: Very Berkeley. Spotted: free-trade coffee burlap sacks, a Solidarity With Honduras poster, and a Tibetan mortar and pestle.
Seating: Fairly tight communal seating. There’s a beautiful glass-encircled conference room (with tree stump base for the table), and three “phone booths.”
Cost: Monthly membership: $495.
Day pass: $30.  
Bonus: Some memberships grant access to Hub’s San Francisco location.
(510) 649-7700, hubbayarea.com.
 

Next Space/Nathan Phillips Photography

Next Space

Location: In downtown Berkeley, directly across from BART.
Vibe: With the historic Wells Fargo bank building setting (high ceilings), wooden desks, and retro orange accents, there’s a bit of a Mad Men feel.
Seating: The 9,000-square-foot space offers communal café seating, dedicated desks, and private offices. There are two conference rooms, including one inside the old bank vault.
Cost: Monthly membership: $275–$475. Day pass: $25.
Bonus: Among the amenities are a pinball machine, and a holistic room set up to accommodate local masseuses.
(510) 990-0500, nextspace.us

 

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