Tucson’s most celebrated multi-functional workspace is changing owners — but members should rest assured. The qualities that have made Spoke6 a success for more than three years will endure.
Started by Tim Bowen, 34, the company has housed dozens of members during its time, from Web developers and computer programmers to musicians and writers.
Spoke6 essentially is a gathering spot for young entrepreneurs to call home, bridging an office environment with a hip, coffee shop feel. The 2,600 square-foot workspace provides members Internet access, work stations, meeting areas, and a host of other amenities typically found in private offices.One of its first members was Nathan Puente, 27, owner of online design and marketing firm Graphic Fusion. He and his staff enjoyed the environment and even paid its initial month of rent with tables, chairs, and other office essentials.
As his own company grew, Puente liked his experience so much that he decided to purchase Spoke6 from Bowen, who admitted running Spoke6 and his own design firm Creative Slice was getting exhausting.“I needed to take a break,” he said “I’m just a little burnt out.”
Puente said he will not change the Spoke6 atmosphere, which Bowen designed to enhance the collective spirit of local entrepreneurs. The primary layout of Spoke6 involves two spacious rooms filled with computer monitors, computer chairs and tables. The furnishings are provided by local artisans or built from scratch by members, giving it a hip, coffee shop feel. There are also white boards, private lockers, showers, a kitchen and a bicycle storage area.
Even after a recent 1,000-square-foot addition, the space will see some more physical modifications in the future. Puente said he expects to build in areas for meetings and more private communication. The cost for membership, which is relatively inexpensive compared to similar membership-based workspaces in Phoenix, will stay the same for the time being, Puente said.
While the cost to members will remain the same, the level of membership should increase, Puente said. His own company already has dozens of interns and participants who use the space, making them the largest of the members. Approximately 20 other members use the space, from fledgling internet-based companies to writers and photographers.
But Spoke6 still has room to grow, both Bowen and Puente said. The company has seen little marketing and exposure, if any. Most of the community learns about Spoke6 through word-of-mouth and the numerous WordPress “meetup” participants.
That is something Puente plans to change.
“We haven’t done much to showcase the place,” he said. “The goal of this place is to get the best minds in Tucson here.”
Spoke6 is located at 439 N. Sixth Ave., on the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue. The membership cost ranges from $20 a day to $300 a month.