(Updated at 9:30 a.m.) Construction is complete at the second ALX Community coworking office in Old Town, and there is room for new tenants who need an office away from home.
The 25,000 square-foot, two-level office at 201 N. Union Street is the only dog-friendly coworking space in town. It recently opened after signing a 15-year lease for the space.
ALX Community co-owner and Chief Operating Officer Kelly Grant said that people need smaller, more flexible places to work, especially in light of large developments in and around the port city, including Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus at Potomac Yard and the expansion of the waterfront.
When asked possible future expansion plans, Grant said the company will stick with its two locations for the time being.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to provide them a place where they can grow with us,” Grant said. “We have enough right now to be able to serve this community. We don’t have plans immediately to go anywhere else but Alexandria. It’s our hometown. All my partners live here. It’s what we love and we’re hyper-local.”
The second floor at ALX Community opened first, in October, and the ground floor was unveiled at the beginning of the year.
The company launched last spring with the ALX Community location at Founders Hall (106 N. Lee Street), which has since been completely rented out by Compass Realty. Grant describes the new N. Union Street location as mid-century modern-meets-industrial. The building is the former home to administrative offices for the Torpedo Factory Art Center from the days when it made the Mark 14 submarine torpedo in World War II.
On most workdays, Grant arrives early in the morning and leaves well after 5 p.m.
“I don’t think about the minutes or hours I’m spending here,” Grant told ALXnow. “I think about how lucky I am to be able to meet and work with such great people.”
The coworking office currently accommodates more than 100 small businesses and 250 members — including ALXnow, which has a similar name but no relation to ALX Community. It offers flex offices, conference rooms named after notable city locations like Jones Point, phone booths and free coffee and tea and kitchen facilities. The office also hosts monthly meet-ups and discussions on professional development, health and wellness, and “community activation.”
ALX Community will hold a private grand opening event the evening of Thursday, Feb. 6.