A new coworking space in Kailua is providing freelancers and entrepreneurs from the island’s Windward side the option to work in a shared space close to home.
Treehouse Coworking, which opened its doors last week in a former medical office building on 74 Kihapai St., is the first of its kind on the Windward side.
The 3,000-square-foot building features executive suites, private desks and coworking spaces.
“We were looking for office space for a long time in Kailua to get something the right size,” said Keno Knieriem, who opened the space with business partner Dawn Hunt. “We found the real estate was so expensive for a small business. They have to sign a three-year lease, have financials to do that and show that revenue. If you are a smaller startup business, that liability is hard to do.”
Knieriem said the target demographic for the coworking space, which is already around 50 percent occupied, is owners of small businesses that currently work from home.
“The genre of profession we’ve been looking for is the creative professional,” he added. “People that work in architecture, interior design, web design, artists.”
Knieriem said the team is currently canvassing local coffee shops and cold calling small businesses in the area in addition to relying on targeted Facebook advertisements to generate interest.
“You still work by yourself if you are a sole proprietor,” he said on Treehouse Coworking’s environment. “But there’s other people to be around and it can eliminate a lot of the burden that you have to deal with if you are a sole proprietor, like paying the bills, printer paper and office supplies. We supply a concierge and scheduling. I think that’s probably the biggest difference. There is a need for education, especially on the Windward side of what coworking means and its value.”
Memberships range from $30 a month to $250 for unlimited access.