Gather, the Richmond-based coworking space operator, is branching out to Norfolk.
The fast-growing company has signed a lease to open its first location in Hampton Roads — on the 15th and 16th floors of the BB&T building at 500 E. Main St. in downtown Norfolk. The space is expected to open in May.
The Gather Norfolk location will be the company’s largest space, with 30,104 square feet, and will take up the top two floors of the 16-story building. Gather also has the rights to put a sign at the top of the building on the north side.
The new location marks the company’s fourth coworking space in its nearly five-year history, with more planned in the Richmond and Hampton Roads markets.
Gather Workspaces LLC, which designs, builds and operates these collaborative workspaces, opened its first location in downtown Richmond at 409 E. Main St. in April 2014. That location will move this summer — the owners are calling it Gather City Center — to bigger space (20,000 square feet) at 313 E. Broad St.
Its second location, with 16,500 square feet at 2920 W. Broad St. in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood, opened in June 2016. The third Gather opened in January 2018 taking over 17,908 square feet at 2400 Old Brick Road in West Broad Village in western Henrico County.
Gather coworking spaces appeal to self-employed people who work from home, to businesses that need a single office and not a long-term commitment, and to out-of-town companies seeking a local presence. It has about 500 members covering a range of industries.
“Gather continues to be very bullish on the Richmond market,” said Doug White who owns the Gather business with his wife, Polly White, and with James Crenshaw, the managing partner of the Gather coworking spaces.
Gather, he said, currently is looking for space in Midlothian and in Manchester.
“Gather is excited about our move to Norfolk,” he said. “We plan multiple locations in the Hampton Roads area. We are also looking in Newport News, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.”
Polly White said locating a Gather space in Norfolk means “the start of a true statewide Gather community where individuals or companies in different cities can communicate, collaborate and inspire each other. Every Gather member has access to all Gather locations, so members in Richmond will have a space in Norfolk, and the same goes for Norfolk members coming to Richmond.”
The new Gather Norfolk location is expected to be home to more than 150 private offices, ranging from one-person spaces to larger suites for bigger teams, as well as open-area workspaces and a range of conference rooms and meeting spaces.
Norfolk-based Tymoff + Moss Architects is leading the design of the new space, while interior design will be created by Richmond-based Campfire & Co., which also worked on Gather’s other locations.
Gather chose Norfolk as its first Hampton Roads location because of the area’s strong demand for shared office space, its vibrant downtown area and its proximity to Richmond, Crenshaw said.