5-5-14 10:00 AM EDT | Email Article

In response to a growing need among entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups for Boston office space without the high cost and long-term commitment of commercial real estate, Boston businesswoman Lauren VanElslander Mearn has recently opened Idea Space, a boutique coworking space located in Boston’s Back Bay.

Located at 867 Boylston Street, Idea Space is the first business in Boston to offer coworking space, private offices and private meeting space in the same location. It consists of dedicated desks, conference rooms, common space and a kitchen, with 24/7 access and reception service for individuals and small firms. The common areas offer clients a relaxed setting and the potential for idea-sharing, creative thinking and inter-business collaboration.

Mearn, 29, who earned her MBA from Boston College and her undergraduate degree at Babson College, decided to open a coworking space after working in advertising for both Digitas and SapientNitro. “I witnessed first-hand how many clients and freelance colleagues desired an office presence, or just an inspiring place to work, in Boston,” says Mearn. “The alternative for many entrepreneurs and independent professionals is to work out of their home, a hotel or the local Starbucks. I wanted to create a space where people would want to spend time. I believe your physical environment plays a significant role in how you feel about yourself and your business, and working in a space that ‘feels right’ can be a great motivator. I chose to cater to small businesses and creative groups, including marketing, advertising, public relations, web development, apparel and visual design firms, to name a few, while offering a central location between Boston’s Financial District and Cambridge. Idea Space is a place where they can connect with people in complementary industries, tap into a variety of unique perspectives, and grow their businesses into successful companies.”

Since launching Idea Space in January, clients, or members as they are called, have already claimed half of the available space.

Idea Space’s members have praised the new facility, which allows them to focus on growing their companies. Said Adam Cohen, managing director of W2O Group, an integrated marketing, communications, research and development firm, “Idea Space is the ideal fit for our new office. The space is bright, open, and comfortable, and it's right in the heart of the city. The model is highly flexible for us to grow as we expand our team rapidly in the coming months. I'd recommend it for creatives, freelancers and entrepreneurs looking for a place to grow their business.”

Idea Space offers occasional, part-time, and full-time memberships that start as low as $99 per month. A dedicated desk membership with private, lockable storage costs $499 per month. Fully-furnished, private office space is also available for individuals and small groups.

Mearn believes Idea Space will benefit from the growing popularity of coworking spaces, which have increased by 400% nationally in the last two years, according to Forbes magazine. http://www.forbes.com/sites/lawtonursrey/2014/02/25/what-coworking-can-really-do-for-you/

“I agree with Forbes’ assessment that coworking can help entrepreneurs find the right people,” says Mearn. “There is a uniqueness to the type of community found in a coworking space, and the shared connections, interests and goals among members are what make the right space so valuable.”

The following link is to the Idea Space site http://ideaspaceboston.com.

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