Wichita has another new co-working space, this time on the west side.
“It’s something that downtown and the east side (have) already figured out,” Matt Lillie says.
“More people are downsizing,” he says. “It’s just harder and harder to lease these big office buildings.”
Lillie is converting a 12,000-square-foot building he owns at the northwest corner of 13th and Ridge Road.
So far, he’s upgraded and converted 7,000 square feet into Elevate Coworking.
“We say, ‘Working for yourself, not by yourself.’ ”
Lillie says people “just want somewhere to go so it’s not isolated and alone, and there’s some camaraderie.”
“Eventually we’ll turn it all into co-working,” he says. “I haven’t made the rest of it pretty.”
Rental rates start at $69 for what Lillie calls “true co-working” space that’s a shared open-air area with access to a conference room.
Offices start at $250, which includes the internet and access to a kitchen, conference room and copier.
Lillie says he’s also going to have speakers once a month for talks on small business issues, such as insurance and technology.
His office is there as well.
“I’m still over on the ugly side. My space doesn’t make money.”
Lillie says he’s been surprised to see interest from people who work on the east side but live west and want their offices there, too.
“They’re tired of driving back and forth.”
Lillie spends his mornings on the west side and then travels east where his Opti-Life health and fitness center is near 21st and Webb Road.
Opti-Life opened nine months ago.
It’s natural to ask how it’s doing and if Lillie is thinking about opening more Opti-Life sites.
“I get that question all the time,” he says.
He says Opti-Life is doing well and now has 1,350 members, but Lillie says that “the answer is if I think about it, I just push that thought out of my mind.”
“We’re focused on growing here still.”
Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or email@example.com.