The Riveter, Co-Working Aimed at Women, Set to Open in Twin Cities
Does the Twin Cities office market have enough co-working spaces yet? While co-working operations seem to be opening everywhere, industry players still see more room for expansion. The Riveter, a Seattle-based co-working group that focuses on women, plans to open a local outpost this summer.
“I think that the future of work is far more flexible and that co-working will grow and grow,” says Amy Nelson, founder and CEO of The Riveter. “There’s a lot of room for a lot of different players.”
Nelson, who quit her job as an attorney to start The Riveter in 2017, said that her company has narrowed down its options for selecting a metro location. The only clue she offers is that it will be on the Minneapolis side of the river. Nelson says that Riveter spaces are typically 10,000 to 12,000 square feet.
Nelson says that Riveter spaces are “built by women for everyone…but we think of women first.” She added that 25 percent of members are men. The company’s name is a reference to “Rosie the Riveter,” a character used in a campaign to recruit women to work for defense companies during World War II.
So far, The Riveter has five locations: three in the Seattle area and two in the Los Angeles metro. Two more locations will open in Texas (Austin and Dallas) in March.
Investors are bullish on the concept. The Riveter has raised $20.5 million in financing to help fuel its growth. Nelson said that plans call for opening in six new cites this year.
The Riveter CEO Amy Nelson speaking at an event held in Seattle. (Photo by Kailee Elizabeth and The Riveter)
Nelson has plenty of Twin Cities connections. She previously lived here and still has in-laws in the Twin Cities. She worked as an attorney at Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney.
Nelson also served on the National Finance Committee for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. Forbes magazine counts her as a regular contributor.
Co-working spaces continue to grow and expand across the Twin Cities. Recent developments in the local market include:
- New York-based co-working giant WeWork opened its second local space in December – 100,000 square feet at the new MoZaic East office building in the Uptown area of south Minneapolis.
- Chanhassen-based fitness chain Life Time is getting into the co-working business. Its first local Life Time Work location is set to open soon in the West End area of St. Louis Park.
- San Diego-based CommonGrounds Workspace is building out a 27,500-square-foot space on the skyway level of the 801 Marquette building in downtown Minneapolis.
The most recent market analysis from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield Minneapolis-St. Paul tallies 1.06 million square feet of Twin Cities co-working space from 35 different operators. Many of the spaces are relatively small in scale: 22 of those co-working providers have spaces of less than 12,000 square feet.
In late 2017 Cushman & Wakefield counted approximately 635,000 square feet of metro co-working space. That means that the amount of co-working space throughout the Twin Cities has expanded by 67 percent in about a year.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is already home to other women-focused co-working spaces such as ModernWell and The Coven.
“There’s true civic engagement and participation in the Twin Cities which is very rare,” says Nelson. “We know that there is an incredible community of female founders. I know the women who founded the Coven and they’re absolutely incredible.’’
Female members of the The Riveter's Capitol Hill co-working location in Seattle. (Photo by The Riveter)