Founders celebrate the Tomorrow Building's Somer Station grand opening Thursday. From left are Society of Work founder Kelly Fitzgerald, Tomorrow Building founder Tiffanie Robinson and Alicia King of Aslan Holdings.
photo by Hannah Campbell
The Tomorrow Building and Society of Work celebrated the grand opening of Somer Station Thursday in the former Chattanooga Printing and Engraving building off Cherokee Boulevard.
“The idea of being on the Northshore is very appealing to a lot of people,” said Tomorrow Building founder Tiffanie Robinson.
The co-living, co-working space is the first joint project between Tomorrow and Society of Work. The historic Printing building houses 58 small, medium and large offices, while a new construction addition is divided into 22 furnished studio apartments, each 457 square feet.
The two spaces together are “making remote work easy,” said Alicia King, marketing manager for Aslan Holdings real estate group.
Ms. Robinson said that “all-inclusive housing was an issue” 10 years ago when the Lamp Post Group was recruiting talent for local startups. Tomorrow’s first location opened in 2016 on Georgia Avenue in the 1888 Ross Hotel building.
“This is an easy place for them to land,” Ms. Robinson said.
Each studio has a bathroom and kitchenette and residents have access to a communal professional kitchen and lounges and a social calendar of events. Rent is $1,600-$2,500 per month. The required utility package includes all utilities and Internet.
Kelly Fitzgerald founded Society of Work in 2013. Its first location in the Edney Building on Market Street is an anchor of the Chattanooga Innovation District, designated in 2014 to attract entrepreneurs and startups.
“It’s easy to be siloed,” Ms. Fitzgerald said of traditional work environments.
“We’ve learned a lot in the last 10 years about how the community works together,” said Ms. King.
Though many Tomorrow residents and Society of Work members are college students, young professionals or empty nesters, Ms. Fitzgerald said the two spaces attract a certain “persona” unified by their habits. They want to walk to the grocery store, gym, restaurants, and the people they meet doing these things become their friends, she said.
The Society of Work space at Somer Station has four conference rooms, four phone booths and communal work space. Ms. Fitzgerald said business can start small, with a $50 per month mailing membership, and grow. The biggest office is 5,000 square feet.
The property is managed by Second Story Properties, which specializes in live-work and mixed-use space. Somer Station was designed by HK Architects and built by Barry Hutton Construction.
Ms. Robinson said the Tomorrow Building is in different phases of expanding into Knoxville and Memphis.