The Austin Space is shaping up to be a two-floor, 2,000-square-foot collaborative workspace complete with ample desk space, an outdoor patio, lounge area and meeting rooms.
The three-tier membership packages range from $25 for one-day access to $275 per month with unlimited access. Amenities also include high speed internet, a security system, private phone booths, printing, whiteboard access, a kitchen and monthly meet-ups.
Tan, a software engineer originally from Forest Hills, was prompted to open a co-working space himself after failing to find a functioning space in Bayside, Forest Hills or Flushing.
He and Choi, a Forest Hills resident, decided that Forest Hills was the ideal neighborhood due to its central location and quick access to the Long Island Railroad, subways and buses.
To see what the community thought of a co-working space in the neighborhood, Tan posted about the space in a few local Facebook groups. Within a week, 50 people signed up for The Austin Space’s wait list, giving him validation that the space is needed in the area.
He noticed that those who signed up were from a variety of professions, including lawyers, realtors, photographers and software developers.
“The demand is clearly there,” Tan said. “There are a lot of people working from home in the Forest Hills area, and a lot of people go to either Red Pipe Cafe or to Starbucks, and it seems to be running out of space. Too many people are being crammed in these loud places.”
The Austin Space is also currently in the process of building partnerships with local businesses who support their initiative, such as the Red Pipe Cafe.
Tan hopes The Austin Space will go beyond a desk space for professionals. The project is about bringing the community together as well as introducing technology and innovation to the area, he said.
To jump start the community’s introduction to the tech world, they’re planning to launch a technology initiative program geared towards students ages 13 and older. There will be classes focused on subjects such as coding and 3D printing.
They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover a partial percentage of the startup costs and for equipment like MacBooks and furniture. Other expenses, including staff salaries, high-speed internet and the majority of renovation costs will be paid for by Tan and Choi.
The Austin Space will be moving into its new location at 108-14 72nd Avenue until September, and they hope to open their doors by early October following renovations.