Mayor Bloomberg Tours Downtown Alliance’s Hive at 55 Coworking Space | Downtown Alliance

Mayor Bloomberg Tours Downtown Alliance’s Hive at 55 Coworking Space

03/29/2011

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg toured the Hive at 55 today, a shared workspace in Lower Manhattan for freelancers and small business owners launched by the Alliance for Downtown New York six months ago. “For many freelancers in the media and technology industries, the high costs of office space and modern equipment are big roadblocks to launching a business," said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Hive at 55 – a modern, fully-outfitted office center for freelancers at steeply discounted rates – is part of our broader effort to help start-ups in the City overcome those obstacles. The demand for space at the Hive continues to grow, and the City's partners in the effort – Liz Berger of the Alliance for Downtown New York and building owner Bill Rudin – deserve a lot of credit for its success."

The Downtown Alliance, in conjunction with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), 55 Broad Street and the Rudin family, opened the Hive on December 1, and in the past six months it has become a hub of technology and media, filled with a growing community of entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers. It was established as part of the city’s efforts to expand entrepreneurship and facilitate the growth of industry sectors, such as new media.

“The Hive at 55 is a new kind of professional community. It’s about new ways of working and it’s about jobs,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance. “From iPhone app makers to freelance writers to film companies, the Hive is the go-to place for those who prefer to work independently but together. Ways of doing business in New York City are changing and the Hive is ahead of the curve.”

The 4,000-square-foot, fully outfitted space at the New York Information and Technology Center at 55 Broad St. includes a shared workspace for more than 30 people, three private offices and meeting space, as well as Wi-Fi, fax, printer and copier machines, coffee, conference rooms and bike storage. Additionally, workshops, classes, happy hours and other networking opportunities are often held there.

"On behalf of the entire Rudin Management team, we have been thrilled by the great levels of interest in the Hive at 55,” said Bill Rudin, President of Rudin Management Company. “This shared workspace hosts a unique roster of technology-oriented tenants and offers affordable and flexible workspaces to freelancers, independent contractors, telecommuters and small startup companies. This initiative could not have been a success without the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Downtown Alliance. We're also pleased that the Hive at 55 is playing a central role in the economic revitalization of our city and the Downtown community.”

More than 1,300 people have used the Hive, with 60 regular members, 61 percent average monthly growth and 160 percent growth from January to April. The space has hosted nearly 50 events in partnership with Pace University, Girls in Tech, GuruLoft and other tech and social media groups. It will host an event Wednesday evening on job hunting for journalists featuring world-renowned digital and social media expert Sree Sreenivasan of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. For more on the event, go to www.guruloft.com.

Nineteen percent of Hive members live in Lower Manhattan, but many come from other parts of the city and two live in Pennsylvania. And while most come to the Hive to work independently, a collaborative community has formed. For example, a Hive-based Web producer redesigned hiveat55.com, another is hosting his company’s launch party there and members regularly collaborate with each other on product development.

The Hive at 55 offers several membership options: $25 per day; three visits per month for $50; eight visits per month for $150; 12 visits per month for $200; monthly access during business hours for $300; and monthly 24/7 access for $500. Private offices and classroom space are also available for rent.

“As freelancers account for a larger percentage of our city’s workforce, especially in the media and technology sector, the need for accessible coworking space has become even more pronounced,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “We expect that the Hive at 55 in Lower Manhattan, run by the Downtown Alliance, will serve as a model for such coworking spaces across the city, by allowing freelancers to engage in networking, and providing them with access to the technologies that will allow them to succeed.”

To help establish the Hive at 55, NYCEDC provided a $100,000 grant to the Downtown Alliance. Additional funding and program support for the Hive are provided by 55 Broad Street, the Rudin family, Poulakakos Family Restaurants (which offer Hive membersmonthly lunches and happy hours), J&R Music and Computer World (which offer discounts for Hive members), Mancini Duffy, Pace University and Sky-Packets.

More information on the Hive at 55 is available by calling the Downtown Alliance at 212- 835-2744, on the Web at http://www.hiveat55.com or by e-mail at hiveat55@downtownny.com. Interested parties can also follow the Hive on Twitter at twitter.com/hiveat55 or become fans on Facebook.