When it comes to Downtown Arlington’s budding co-working scene, two’s company and three’s a movement. Later this Spring, Union Worx Coworking will become the third such enterprise to open in Downtown Arlington in as many years. The outlook for increasing demand is excellent, due in part to UT Arlington’s ever-expanding student population, more Downtown apartment communities designed for young professionals, and major developments throughout the City of Arlington.
Luke and Lauren Brewer had this in mind when they leased the modern commercial space in Urban Union for Union Worx. But their personal interests, areas of expertise, and shared passion for building community were equally strong motivators. Downtown Arlington chatted with Lauren about the couple’s vision.
DA: Your tagline is "Think Big, Start Small, Hustle Smart." How does that speak to your goals for Union Worx?
LB: Arlington is our home, and Luke and I want to build a space that will help better our home. We want to attract entrepreneurs to our city, and we want them to have a place where they can successfully build their company and thrive. We want UTA students to have a place to come too, to work on their ideas and stay in Arlington after they graduate to achieve their dreams. Arlington start-ups need a place to connect, build a community, and help each other grow. We want to be that place. For us, Union Worx is also our “start small.” Our plan is that Union Worx will be the launching pad for our own big dreams.
DA: Where did the idea for Union Worx come from?
LB: Not long after Luke and I were married, we decided we wanted to build something together. We knew about co-working and that it was taking off in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and across the country. That thought stuck with us, and the more we researched it and talked with people about it, the more we could see how it was a great fit for our skills. My background is in community-building and event planning, which are very important for a successful co-working space. Luke’s background is in IT infrastructure, business IT and business analytics.
DA: What drew you to Downtown Arlington and to Urban Union?
We believe in the changes that are happening in Downtown Arlington. The hustle and bustle are so exciting to see. When we spend time in Downtown now, we love watching all the people walking from one spot to another, just enjoying the area. It’s no longer just a way to just get from Collins to Copper Streets.
We think Downtown is just going to keep improving, too, as more life and energy fill the new living spaces throughout the district. Programs that make getting around easier -- like bike-sharing and VIA ride-sharing -- will be good for all of the businesses in Downtown. Finally, we think developments like Texas Live! will shine a spotlight on how vibrant Downtown is becoming.
As for Urban Union, we’re excited about how it’s developing. Ryan Dodson has done an amazing job with its overall plan and aesthetic and thinking through the types of businesses he wants to attract. He’s working to bring companies, restaurants, and shops that really work well together and will help to make Downtown Arlington and Urban Union a destination. When we met with Ryan and got to understand his vision, we knew immediately that Urban Union is where we want to be.
DA: In addition to all of the cool businesses in and around Downtown, what special features and/or benefits will Union Worx offer its clients?
LB: The difference at Union Worx will be a true sense of community. We want our members to really get to know and work with each other. For example, if one member needs a new website, our hope is they’ll work with another member who is a web developer. We also Union Worx to be a gathering place for the community. We plan to host happy hours, seminars, art fairs, you name it.
When we open in Spring 2018, we’ll have two conference rooms, 13 private offices, 8 private desks, and plenty of room for open co-working. We’ll have a kitchen area for members to use daily and for special events. Eventually, our plan includes a really nice open patio where members can enjoy lunch or check emails in the fresh air.
DA: Will Union Worx have a monthly membership program?
LB: We’ll have memberships to accommodate a variety of needs. We’ll have offices for those who want a little more privacy, dedicated desks for those who want a home base but don’t mind the stimulation of an open workspace, and open co-working for those who need a to drop in from time to time. We’re planning on having options for 24/7 access, meeting room rentals, and event space rental. All of the info will be available on our website before we open, and we can be reached via our email address and social media now.
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Coming Spring 2018
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About Downtown Arlington
An official State of Texas Cultural District, Downtown Arlington, Texas blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate.