On the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint is The Yard, a co-working environment which serves as a home-base for a variety of New York start-ups. Business partners Morris Levy and Richard Beyda renovated a floor of a former warehouse with the intention of providing a creative space for entrepreneurs interested in planting seeds outside of Manhattan. Reminiscent of General Assembly in Flatiron, The Yard serves as a hub for 60 — 65 companies. The startups are involved in (among others) technology, gaming, publishing and film production. It houses Hype Machine, Wanderfly, GanderTV and Spotflux. Unlike General Assembly however, which wants to keep their space free of venture capital pressure, The Yard is seeking angel investors to move in. The Yard is also far less event and education-based than General Assembly, and Levy hopes to differentiate the two by being just more “comfortable and practical.”
“We don’t discourage companies that are not tech start-ups,” Levy tells Untapped. “As long so they are creative at what they do.” The 14,000 square foot establishment opened its doors on November 15th, 2011 and quickly gained clientele via word-to-mouth, grassroots advertising and flyers. Levy states, “We didn’t realize the type of talent that would be coming through the door.” As of February, The Yard has almost reached capacity in terms of rentable space.
Levy, born and raised in Brooklyn, specifically choose the site because of its locale and its potential to support creative growth. Employees of the respective companies enjoy the walkability to McCarren Park, nearby niche boutiques and unique coffee shops. The outside creativity is reflected inside. The bustling hallways and multi-media conference rooms filled with bright individuals convey a collaborative spirit as representatives from companies visit their next door office mates to share project ideas.
The space, designed by David Bers is light and airy with a modern industrial feel. They offer different packages of membership depending on your company type: “Solopreneurs,” “Partners,” “Three or more,” shared workspace in “The Lounge,” dedicated workspace in “The Library” and “Virtual Office,” if all you need is a business address and conference rooms.
Levy describes The Yard, and its location in Williamsburg, as being “another home for people” seeking an alternative to conducting business in the City. Many of the employees of businesses housed at The Yard cross-commute five days week from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Perhaps, it serves a testament to entrepreneurs interested in taking a departure from the downtown skyscrapers. According to the establishment’s saying, “If your business is evolving, it’s time to work in The Yard.”
For more information on The Yard, visit their website at www.workattheyard.com.
Follow Untapped Cities on Twitter and Facebook. Follow the author at @UntappedAlley.