LEAP design a shared workspace in a historic downtown Albany high-rise.  We wanted to relate the Art Deco exterior of the building to the new interior, while simultaneously making it modern and fresh. Check out the photos and some of the design considerations for making an attractive workspace. 

Shared Workspace for Small Businesses

CapCity Coworks is based on the WeWork model of co-working spaces. The model provides an exciting, energetic environment for invention, innovation, and creation! This model is the basis for other shared workspaces in the Capital District such as Innovation Garage, the Center of Gravity and the Albany Barn.

One of the big challenges for setting up shared workspaces (as a business model) is the ability to maintain occupancy rate above 60% to make it profitable and while keeping costs modest for tenants. As architects, we guide planning for not only design, but design that will support business growth and success.

There are subtleties in the design of the shared workspaces that are priorities and are key to filling the space with tenants. Otherwise,
shared workspaces may remain at the 60% occupancy typical for similar spaces in the Capital Region. – BeaHive

So what are some of the design “keys” to attracting tenants for shared workspace? Comfort. Service. Relationships.

bar and lounge area of Capital Coworks, a shared workspace in downtown Albany


The WeWork model in areas south of Albany and in NYC is thriving. But, some locations are more successful than others. Why? Comfort. More people will rent space from WeWork centers that exude relaxing, yet exciting spaces for congregation and production. Similar to a good coffee house, successfully shared work models provide ease, informality, and invite conversations that spur on the next great invention.


Getting tenants in the door is the first step, but keeping them there is another matter entirely. Efficient operations and maintenance are core design values at LEAP. We design facilities to ensure staff can support tenants needs. During the design phase, we review operations to ensure staffing has what they need to provide the greatest tenant experience possible.


For incubators in the Capital Region, the “build it and they will come” mentality may not be enough. Designs that focus on the subtleties of success are a great way to get people in the door and maintain a tenant base, but how do incubator spaces grow? By building relationships with organizations and companies that provide development teams,  shared workspaces will be able to fill their spaces with the most innovative teams in the area.

Read the write up for CapCity Coworks in the Albany Business Journal.

Check out some of our free design tools for commercial projects.

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