Once an eyesore, now posh high rise thrives as lively co-working hub

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Nia Taylor discusses her non-profit with Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. – Photo by Joyce Coronel, Wrangler News

Decked out in a T-shirt and shorts with Fido at your feet and a load of laundry in the dryer, working from home holds appeal for many. But if the thought of another client meeting at the crowded corner coffee shop has you agonizing over where to close that deal you’ve been laboring over, you might want to check out Workuity.

The brand new co-working space occupies 20,000 square feet on the ground floor of the now luxurious Chandler Viridian high rise at the intersection of the 101 and 202 freeways. Nestled against Chandler Fashion Center and within walking distance to nearby eateries and hotels, the collaborative work site is proving popular according to Workuity founder Daniel Kite.

“We opened March 1 and we are filling up really quickly,” Kite said during an open house at the Chandler facility.

“We’re doing a high-end facility here so we tend to get everything from the something that I wanted for myself when I was an entrepreneur.”

With 14-foot ceilings, big screens aplenty, kitchen amenities, modern conference rooms and floor-to-ceiling windows, Workuity is easy on the eyes. Carol Stambaugh and Jeremy Saxey are business partners in an enterprise that helps manage and troubleshoot Word Press websites.

Perched in front of their laptops at one of the many tables in the expansive, wood-floor common area, the two expounded on what they see as the benefits of membership in Workuity.

“I have a home office and I work out of it sometimes but there are just times when I like to be out and around people,” Stambaugh said. “It sounds great to work in your pajamas every day, but it can get kind of boring.”

It’s not Stambaugh’s first dance with co-working. She said she tried Gangplank and Galvanize but that Workuity is a more convenient location for her. “When they came closer it was just a no-brainer for me to come in and try a co-working space close to my house.”

Saxey lauded the networking opportunities afforded by the collaborative work environment. “You meet a lot of people here,” Saxey said. “We actually get clients because you get to network and collaborate with people in a more professional space instead of meeting at a Starbucks.”

Stambaugh says she spends 20-30 hours a week at the site. Her level of membership allows her to have a dedicated desk and 24/7 access.

Stuart Illian of SquadPod, a software start-up, said his company joined Workcuity’s first location in Phoenix but that the West Chandler site is closer to his home. Even though SquadPod has an actual headquarters in North Scottsdale, utilizing Workuity is advantageous.

“The conference rooms, the kitchen facilities, the location…everything is an advantage for us,” Illian said. “We’re going to be doing big launch events and it’s a better spot for us to do that.”

He also keyed into the opportunities to meet potential clients. “We’re targeting small businesses with our solutions so it’s a networking opportunity. Do we really need this space when you add all that up? Yes, absolutely.”

Chandler’s Workuity site boasts 60 offices, conference rooms, printing, fast fiber internet and a classroom for presentations. For those who might need a dose of caffeine or even a little relaxation there are liquid benefits too: coffee, beer and wine.

Kevin Hartke, mayor of Chandler, was on hand for Workcuity’s open house, alongside other members of the Chandler City Council and the president of Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Terri Kimble.

Hartke remembers well that the site on which Workuity is located was once home to a longstanding eyesore in the city, Chandler Elevation, a construction site that was abandoned during the Great Recession and spent years in litigation.

“We are thrilled that Workuity has chosen this space,” Hartke said, describing the location as “the epicenter of technology and businesses and a lot of enthusiasm in Chandler.”

Chandler Vice Mayor Terry Roe also attended, and was likewise enthusiastic.

“It’s a pretty big change from what was here just a few years ago. It was an eyesore and every meeting we ever went to, everybody said, ‘What’s happening with that?’

“And finally Viking came along and promised big things and delivered. These folks are getting a perfect location in Chandler and they bring a super-classy environment where people want to do business. I think it’s perfectly positioned and people are going to fill it right up.”

Workuity founder Kite chose the open house presentation as the moment to announce that the company would grant a one-year free membership to Circle of Sisters Ministry, a non-profit devoted to assisting women in need of support. Nia Taylor was there to accept the award.

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