Johnson City Press: Spark Plaza moves to new location

Spark Plaza moves to new location

Robert Houk • Oct 25, 2018 at 8:02 PM

The Tri-Cities only “co-working community” has a new home. Spark Plaza, formerly located above Freiberg’s restaurant at 201 E. Main St., has moved to 404 S. Roan St.

An open house and an unveiling of artwork created by Spark Plaza members will be held at the facility from 4-6 p.m. Friday. Food, drinks and music will be provided.

Jose Castillo, who co-founded the shared work/office space business with his wife, Shannon, in 2009, said the new location offers more space and amenities to members while remaining a part of the growing downton area. He said 15 members have signed up for spots in the new building, which offers double the space of the old location.

Castillo said the building was purchased in April, and the new Spark Plaza was opened in early August following some remodeling. He said his shared office space business had simply outgrown its original location.

“We’ve had more than 100 businesses come through Spark Plaza since we started nine years ago,” he said. “Many have graduated to much larger spaces.”

Castillo said demand for shared work space is growing in the region. He said the concept has become quite common in other areas of the country where tech-savvy professionals have learned all they need is a laptop and a cell phone to conduct business.

“Most of our members seek us out,” he said.

Current members of Spark Plaza include a patent attorney, a software developer and a financial services representative.

Spark Plaza offers a combination of private full-time offices and temporary space. Open day space is available at the entrance of the two-story building on South Roan.

A private conference room is also available to members and for the community to rent on the second floor. There is also a private telephone room were members can make cell calls behind a closed door. 

“It’s a point of pride with me to be able to offer our members better space on the first floor of our building,” Castillo said. “Spark Plaza is a co-working community that brings people together in a networking environment to get things done.”

Castillo said he got the idea for a co-working community from his grandparents, who met at a co-working space for artists in Mexico City after World War II. It was called “La Mancha,” which translates to “the mark” or “on the spot.” 

Castillo said he and his wife had that in mind when they created an orange splotch to be the logo of Spark Plaza.

“We want this to be a place where others can leave their mark,” he said.

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