After two years of planning and renovation, a state-of-the-art coworking space has finally opened its doors in downtown Pensacola’s historic Brent Building.
The 10,000 square foot Cowork Annex is part of developer Bobby Switzer’s effort to restore and redevelop the Blount and Brent buildings, originally erected in 1907, as One Palafox Place. Switzer, the great-grandson of Brent Building namesake Francis Celestino Brent, purchased the entire downtown block with a group of investors for $7.5 million in 2015.
While the Brent Building’s ground floor has remained active through the years with bars, restaurants, and shops, the building’s second floor — longtime home to the Kress department store — sat vacant for decades before undergoing a complete renovation and being restored to life as Cowork Annex. The coworking space was codeveloped by Switzer, Michael Murdoch, Joel Smith, Scott Cutler, Michael Carro and Ellis Bullock III.
Coworking spaces have emerged in recent years as an alternative for teams and individuals who don’t want to commit to leasing dedicated office space. In exchange for a monthly fee, members typically receive access to a desk or other workspace and access to conference rooms, as well as internet access and other office amenities.
“The Annex offers professional flexibility and connection in a modern, relaxed space located in the heart of a vibrant, exploding downtown scene,” said Karen McLouth, community manager for Cowork Annex. “We strive to provide an inspiring environment with networking and quality programming to further personal and professional growth.”
Cowork Annex features both communal workspaces and private offices, as well as conference rooms, a kitchen, and an event room. A 20-gigabyte fiber internet connection provides coworkers with one of the fastest office Internet connections available. The space will also soon feature a private workout area.
“Coworking is the future of work, and is forecast to continue major growth by 2020, with approximately 3.8 million members globally,” said McLouth. “We’re proud to be offering the diverse, young professionals of Pensacola a smart working option in a shared economy and helping our city grow and thrive.”
Memberships for Cowork Annex vary based on usage as well as space and desk requirements. For more information, visit coworkannex.com.