Digital Digs

A new shared-office business in Troy caters to startups and other creative firms.


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Seizing on a niche in the growing office market, Daniel Haberman is taking shared space to another level. For digital firms, startups, entrepreneurs, designers, and others that need collaborative workspace, but aren’t interested in a long-term lease commitment, Haberman developed Byte & Mortar in Troy.

The idea is simple: Offer high-tech office space to businesses and individuals for a few weeks or a few years at a time. “There’s plenty of large companies that provide temporary office space,” Haberman says. “We offer private offices as well as co-working space for, say, a team of freelance tech and design experts that is building an app or putting together a branding campaign for a large hospital.”

Given that more people today operate small businesses from their residence — the U.S. Small Business Administration reports more than half of all businesses are based out of an owner’s home — Haberman hopes to capitalize on an increasing need for collaborative workspace.

What’s more, metro Detroit has a larger share of small businesses than other regions, according to the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“It’s great working from home, but when four or five people come together to work on a project, a home isn’t the ideal setting when there’s a deadline to meet and everyone is working long hours,” Haberman says.

In addition to offering private offices for accountants, lawyers, and other professionals, Haberman designed a 900-square-foot collaborative space for up to 20 people, complete with high-speed Wi-Fi, a full-time shared receptionist and office manager, a micro kitchen, and custom furniture. The room’s central feature is a 5-by-21-foot table designed by Scott Klinker, a 3-D designer in residence at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills. The table was manufactured by Brian DuBois at 2:37am Studios in Detroit.

Prices vary based on needs. A monthly co-working membership is $159 per person, while a private office starts at $599 per month. Prices include mail and professional phone-answering services, cleaning, utilities, and access to conference rooms. “You can combine a private office with the collaborative space,” Haberman adds. “We tried to simplify everything so that people can focus on their projects.” db

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