A section of the Mediterranean Plaza building is open for remote working.
If you live on Longboat Key, why not work on Longboat Key? That’s the key idea behind Sunbiz Works, a new coworking business on the island that opened in August.
Owner Ken Goldenberg is utilizing space in the Mediterranean Plaza building at 595 Bay Isles Road, Suite 120 to provide offices that professionals can rent by the hour, day, week or month, a conference room rented on similar schedules and a professional mailbox service so clients can have a professional address to attach to their business. Though he’s only been open for about a month, he’s already acquired a few clients, like a senior vice president and other high-powered, island-living businesspeople.
“As we move forward from COVID, the rules have changed,” Goldenberg said. “Companies are now trying to figure out how to best leverage their existing assets in real estate and offices, how that's changing and learning to deal with the adaptability. They need to let their employees work where they believe they're most productive, whether that includes home, or a remote location or HQ when necessary.”
There are three private offices in the Sunbiz space, as well as open workspace, other offices that can be put in use and a conference room for meetings that need a professional background. Goldenberg worked in sales and marketing for technology companies and was often on the road himself, so he knows the struggle of trying to find a remote workspace. With the post-COVID landscape and changing face of working, he’s trying to find the best ways to accommodate all kinds of clients.
“It accelerated what was to come,” Goldenberg said. “Companies are facing an interesting challenge now, because of the new way to work and hybrid ideas about how to approach work. Some of that's being answered by technology, but not all of it, because there's also a human side of it that they have to consider.”
There are open working spaces, private offices, a mailbox service and a conference room. The whole place is equipped with high-speed internet that connects all throughout the building — meaning, if you move from an office to the conference room, you won’t lose your connection. The conference room will easily become what Goldenberg calls the “Zoom Room” to accommodate the new way of conferencing. There will also be a membership option so clients can access lower rental fees.
“We have the ability because we’re small to be agile and accommodate unique customers quickly,” Goldenberg said.
Goldenberg is working closely with Jim Getzen, who owns the Mediterranean Plaza building. Getzen leases offices on annual contracts, so the temporary and permanent options provide good balance for any potential clients.
“Ken (Goldenberg) approached me with the idea of offering a portion of Mediterranean Plaza as an open, flexible office concept,” Getzen said. “As the definition of how we work continues to evolve, I am excited to partner with Sunbiz Works to meet changing market demands and maximize our space use."
The idea is that the men will be able to direct clients each others’ way based on what they need.
“I'm the opening price point proposition for long term tenants, and that migration can occur very smoothly, so that as their business grows, they can leverage up to a full annual commitment for space,” Goldenberg said. “It's working really well, because I've had several people he's given me reference to and vice versa.”
Goldenberg said that flexibility and adaptability are what he’s most concerned about as Sunbiz Works gets more established. He thinks he may see a seasonal demand as snowbirds or vacationers begin working remotely and is curious to see what other clients he attracts. Goldenberg will be aiming to bring in more mid-level and entry level workers, as well, and allow for more collaboration across industries.
“If you're in the open, co-working space, chances are you're gonna be near someone who knows the answer to your question,” Goldenberg said.
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