New co-work space hatches in Clay County

Jesse Hollett
Posted 2/15/17

ORANGE PARK – Three realtors believe ideas hatch faster with company and they’ve just opened Clay County’s first full-fledged co-work space to prove it.

Dubbed ‘The Nest’ its all-female …

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New co-work space hatches in Clay County


ORANGE PARK – Three realtors believe ideas hatch faster with company and they’ve just opened Clay County’s first full-fledged co-work space to prove it.

Dubbed ‘The Nest’ its all-female cadre of co-owners decided to transform a commercially-zoned residential-appearing property at 630 Kingsley Ave. to establish what they hope will be the coziest co-work space Clay County hasn’t heard of – yet.

The space opened late last month, complete with a private office space – which a landscaping company already rented. The Nest offers convenient daily office rental rates and longer term rates.

Housed within the 2,000 square foot compound is a conference room, two social rooms, both dedicated and shared desks as well as an outside compound they intend to use for events.

“It’s a home away from home,” said Dulce Lake, the CEO who is capitalizing on the bird theme by giving herself the job title of Chief Executive Avian. “Because when you work from home, I think you tend not to work because it isn’t an office environment. You tend to get distracted – when you come here, you’re able to work because there’s no disturbance and you have access to Wi-Fi, access to a copier.”

The space contains two dedicated desk areas that offer 24-hour access. There is also a supply and mailroom so business owners can make The Nest their business location and mail drop.

Prices for office space range from $15 dollars per visit to $325 a month.

Currently, The Nest offers Clay entrepreneurs the best chance to run a startup within the county they live in if they don’t necessarily have the money to lease an entire office but want to avoid the bustle and hustle of the corner coffee shop.

“Our goal is really to help entrepreneurs, because for small businesses it’s hard for them to start up,” Lake said. “Their most expensive overhead is office space.”

While co-work spaces in Jacksonville and around the country, they are scant in Clay County. Last year, Fleming Island-based tech company Pragmatic Works was the first peep to break into the industry locally.

Pragmatic CEO Brian Knight intends to expand the co-work space to full operational status. Calls were not returned to comment on the status of his co-work space pilot run.

“Trying to get a co-work space in Clay County is something we’ve been encouraging and supporting for a couple years I would say,” said Bill Garrison, president of the Clay County Economic Development Corp. “So I think [the Nest] is a great opportunity for those starting businesses that need a lower overhead and just a professional atmosphere to work.”

Entrepreneurs have increasingly turned to co-work spaces for the pull they have over likeminded business owners who are looking to network as much as they are to have a desk and free coffee. The Nest, like other co-work spaces, also places entrepreneurs in a stylish area with enough room to stretch. The Nest’s owners have recycled furniture as decorations along with modern accents to give the space an industrial feel.

Lake said she is anxious have to see where the business goes, however, because while co-work spaces in Jacksonville operate well, there’s never been a successful co-work space in Clay County.

Sixty percent of the county commutes to neighboring Duval to work. Garrison hopes to plug as many holes in the county as he can to keep workers – and their businesses – from leaving the county daily. He said a co-work space is a step in the right direction towards that goal.

“That’s kind of a fact of life,” he said. “The problem has always been that business owners are going to go up there to Duval County, because that’s Jacksonville, and the message we’re trying to get across … is there is entrepreneurial support here, they don’t have to leave. That’s kind of the message we want them to know – we have everything you need right here.”


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