Noosa Junction’s first purpose built Co-working space creates new opportunities.

By Gary J2 Co-Owner / Creative Industries & Youth Advocate

Junction 2 is the first purpose built co-working space to open its doors to collaboration in Noosa Junction. The space accommodates small and micro businesses from a variety of industries to share space, reduce overheads and share resources & talent as co-working becomes more popular along the Sunshine Coast. 

 

The four founding partners of Junction 2 have all invested heavily into this new venture. Having all come from co-working backgrounds, they have first-hand experience the benefits it provides to small business and local economy.

Brian Keayes was a founding member of The Various Artists, one of the first co-working spaces to open south of the river. “Co-working is very important to sole traders and small businesses. It enables you to build relationships with other like minded individuals enabling more opportunities compared to working from home. It’s a cost effective way to run your business in a professional manner without all the regular overheads”.

For Gary Swanepoel, a web developer, this is his third co-working startup. “One of the biggest challenges we face when setting up these types of spaces is Broadband. Noosa is still yet to be competitive when it comes to delivering affordable and reliable speeds”. Currently, J2 have a dedicate 20Mb/20Mb up & down line speed with unlimited data. “We’re currently negotiating with our provider to invest into a business grade fixed wireless service for the Junction. It’s imperative we provide a level of service to our co-workers so they can run their business properly. There are a few broadband providers now moving into the market with this type of technology, but we still need to get the price point right alongside the service”.

John Hedgman, one of the original founders says, “The value of co-working to the local economy is severely underestimated. This space generates a few million dollars in turnover from the 11 full and part-time small businesses currently working here. For such a small footprint, co-working has immense capacity.” It also keeps local talent in the area. “If I need access to a designer or SEO/social strategist, I have a selection of experts sitting around me. We can collaborate quickly on a project, meaning I can scale my business up or down depending on the jobs that come in.”

Junction 2 is is the first new major development in Noosa Junction in 30 years. Formally the historic Mitre 10 building, four new businesses have been added downstairs with the entire top floor dedicated to open plan co-working space accommodating high ceilings and windows to allow natural light to fill the whole 200 m2 space.

“We would have liked to have gone bigger,” says Carly Reeves, J2 partner. “But that would have required installation of a lift and accommodation for more on-site car parking, which would have meant a much bigger outlay for us and the developer. ”

Russell Green of RG Strategic (and former councillor) comments “Although the Junction is zoned for mixed residential and commercial use, current regulations in the plan make it increasingly difficult to see more investment into the area, which is counter productive since we have the Bus Depot and 4 separate car parking lots spanning each end of the strip. It’s a very underutilised area”.

Roland West, a fellow co-worker and partner for the newly established Noosa Creative Precinct reflects by saying, “it’s a sad thing that nearly a whole generation has gone by without any major investment into the Junction. As the “business centre” of Noosa it’s an inaccurate reflection Noosa’s capabilities. It needs new blood to reinvest into the area. There are so many empty buildings. Hopefully, what we’re trying to achieve will encourage more business to move into the area.”

Through collaborations with fellow co-workers, Roland has managed to spearhead a series of successful events, such as the The Laneway and Junction Alley. All in an effort to revive the the perception of the area, which is slowing seeing a positive change.

Junction 2 is committed to supporting local initiatives through collaboration to promote growth and more importantly sustainability of local economy.

Junction 2 is located on the upstairs floor at 24 Lanyana Way, Noosa Heads.

For enquires contact share@junction2.com.au or visit the website more more information: http://junction2.co/working