UpLAB is a new Creative Hub for North Long Beach
An excited crowd piled into a retail storefront on busy Atlantic Avenue one Monday morning in September. They came to celebrate the opening of UpLAB, a new Co-working Space and Community Creative Studio in the heart of the Uptown business district.
What is a Co-Working space?
A Co-working space provides office space for creatives, freelancers, small business owners, social entrepreneurs and non-profits to rent a desk, or just the ability to drop-in and use wi-fi and conference space. Co-working spaces are popping up as a new, affordable and social way of working in cities like Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Ana, Santa Monica and even downtown and central Long Beach.
What's Different About UpLAB? The Community Creative Studio bit?
UpLAB is even cooler than your average Co-working space because we are co-tenanted with the Uptown Property & Community Assoc. This proximity to Uptown's economic development and marketing organization means the creatives at UpLAB are connected to the pulse of what's happening in North Long Beach. By being at UpLAB, we are always in the know about the big events, developments, government programs and business strategies being hatched and rolled-out.
OK, OK, Now Tell Us More About the Party
The festivities were plentiful with a mobile BBQ pit parked out front by Robert Earl's BBQ. He was slinging smiles and sliders to attendees on UpLAB's front porch. We had a great DJ and Chameleon Chair Collection created a temporary patio parklet on Atlantic Avenue with stylish black chairs.
The presentation program was short and sweet and starred Jason Mercado, the CEO of Sweet Mission Cookie Company, who told his story of rebounding from being homeless and a felon to owning his own baking company. "A co-working space helped me grow my business from nothing into something that's bringing joy to a lot of people," Mercado told the crowd.
Ryan Smolar, who wrote the grant that started UpLAB, explained how his passion for this project stemmed from talking to kids in the neighborhood: "A lot of the high school kids we talk to seem to think there's only two jobs -- the army or gang-banging," said Smolar, "I hope UpLAB can anchor 21st century jobs right here in the neighborhood."
UpLAB is renting dedicated desks for $250/month or you can drop-in anytime and use a shared workspace for just $50/month. Please apply online or come in for a tour.