If you’re schlepping to and from a business center, you’re part of the Mad Men work environment, according to John Arenas, CEO of Serendipity Labs (serendipitylabs.com), a network of shared workspaces with locations in Chicago and Manhattan, which opened a new location in Rye this past November. “It’s not your father’s way of working,” says Arenas of the company’s brand of co-working space.
Trying to separate itself from that old-school, Mad Men way of working, while also staying away from the ultra-communal “hipster vibe” found, according to Arenas, in other co-working spaces, Serendipity Labs asked professionals what elements would be most important to them if they could create the perfect workplace. High on that list was spacious design, quiet spaces to help facilitate focused thought, and reliability of technology. They then collaborated with Steelcase, a leading workplace research and design firm, to create that dream workspace. As a result, Serendipity offers the best of both worlds—large spaces ideal for collaborative projects, what it calls its “Ideation Studio,” and more intimate spaces for those needing a little more privacy, like its “Enclaves” and “Private Retreats.” Members also have secure access to the Internet and, optionally, phones.
Besides those amenities, Serendipity offers memberships ranging from $49 to $499 and up per month, giving individuals virtually unlimited access to their workspace of choice or simply allowing them to host meetings from time to time, depending upon their needs.
And while Rye may not be a metropolis like Chicago or Manhattan, Arenas, a Rye resident himself, saw the city as a prime location to expand Serendipity. “Rye is ideal because we can locate a Lab within walking distance of a Metro-North train station,” says Arenas, who also notes Rye’s dense professional population as a reason for choosing the location. Another added value was the chance for Arenas to readapt an abandoned car dealership for another use. “We’re glad to breathe new life into an old commercial property,” he says.