Three years ago, Santiago Rojas and Diego Sabogal were sitting in various Starbucks or Caribou Coffee shops in Atlanta and dreaming up plans they had for their marketing company, 3pod.
The two would each spend about $20 a night at the coffee shop, seven days a week, for about $1,200 a month.
“And then we said, ‘We spend too much money on coffee,’” Sabogal, 34, said.
Like many startup leaders today, the two decided to rent a “hot desk” — a shared desk space — at a membership-based coworking space, including at TechSquare Labs near Georgia Tech. About a year ago, they relocated to The Globe Hub coworking space located at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Chamblee near the Brookhaven border.
Here the coffee is free and rent for a tiny office is about $800 a month. “I like to work at Starbucks. They have good coffee. But I’m saving money now,” Sabogal said with a laugh.
The entire coworking space includes 30 offices, 20 dedicated desks and 100 hot desks. There are a few training facilities and meeting rooms that can be reserved by non-members. Special events can also be booked in the building’s atrium and patio area for non-members. Costs for these spaces range from $125 a month for a hot desk to $300 a month for a private desk to nearly $900 for a private office.
But it’s more than free coffee. The Globe Hub creates an atmosphere of community, Rojas, 27, said.
“We love … the community here,” he said. “You come here, everyone is welcoming. They are willing to learn more about you. You see successful, humble people here. We love that about this place. Everyone wants to help you.”
There is also the convenient location —and convenient parking.
Asking a client to meet them at TechSquare Labs, for instance, meant dealing with traffic, Rojas said. Finding parking was also difficult and expensive.
“This place is convenient for us and our clients,” Rojas said. He lives in Atlantic Station and Sabogal lives in Candler Park. The PDK Airport is a middle point for them, their clients in Midtown and for clients they have in Gwinnett County.
Rojas and Sabogal work in a corner office with big windows that looks out on a patio area sitting just a few feet away from an area where dozens of airplanes are parked, with two large hangars in the distance. Their company develops websites, mobile apps, branding and social media campaigns for clients. They also handle all of these aspects for The Globe Hub business.
The Globe Hub space is located in about 14,000 square feet — nearly the entire ground floor — of the 1954 Airport Road building. Aviation-themed furniture and paintings are located throughout the space. Framed photographs commemorating the airport’s history as the original site of Naval Air Station Atlanta line the building’s entrance and the walls of the atrium.
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst also has his attorney office located in the building, but separate from the coworking area.
The Cloud 9 café in the building’s atrium, where sandwiches and sodas are available for purchase, is owned by Denise and Mark Cox-Taylor. Over their counter is a striking 50-by-30-foot mural of a Corsair plane flying over Camp Gordon painted by Atlanta artist Chris Allio.
The owners of The Globe Hub, Kevin Henao and Vishay Singh, are also entrepreneurs and have offices onsite.
“This was a traditional, old-style office space with everyone behind a door,” Singh said from his spacious glass-enclosed office across from 3pod.
Singh said Henao saw a way to bring the building alive by creating a space where people could get to know each other, feed ideas off each other, network with each other. And with the airplanes and aviation surrounding them, a one-of-a-kind coworking space could be designed.
“The building owner liked the idea. It was a no-brainer … because of the uniqueness. The cool-factor,” Singh said.
The two looked at other spaces in Buckhead, downtown and Midtown. But Chamblee is booming as a suburb and with the growth and lack of office space in Brookhaven next door, opening such a space here made sense, Singh said.
The Globe Hub’s name was selected purposefully, Singh said. While the building was already named the Globe Building, it was incorporated into the coworking business name to represent the international clients and members, Singh said.
Rojas was born in Bolivia and Sabogal was born in Colombia. Singh is from South Africa and Henao is also from Colombia.
The Globe Hub also this month sponsored the 2018 InnoSTARS Competition with the U.S. China Innovation Alliance, which provides U.S.-based tech companies the chance to learn more about opportunities in China.
“We are not your typical tech space,” Singh said. “We have entrepreneurs from all walks of life. We are one big community. We are having a bit of fun, but also enjoying the process of being entrepreneurs together.”
For more information about The Globe Hub, see theglobehub.com.
This story is part of the Reporter Newspapers’ quarterly “Perimeter Business” section. For the Spring 2018 section, we are focusing on the coworking trend in Buckhead and Perimeter Center. For the main feature in the series, “The coworking craze is here to stay,” click here.