Coworker company eyes Upper King St. Office-space sharing franchise joins others with local sites

Workers sit at a desk in a coworking space in Colorado run by Office Evolution. The chain plans to open a location in Charleston in early 2017.

The growing market for coworking spaces in the Lowcountry will get a new player next year as a Colorado chain of shared offices says it’s planning to open a location in Charleston.

Office Evolution plans to open an office early next year near Upper King Street, though it hasn’t yet secured a location, said Andy Fry, who bought the rights to open a franchise here.

The Louisville, Colorado-based chain also plans to open a second, more suburban office in 2018, said Fry, who said he’s eyeing Mount Pleasant and Summerville for an expansion.

Office Evolution doesn’t yet have any locations in the Southeast, with most of its offices in the Midwest and West. It aims to compete with other national chains by offering a mix of private office suites and open desks for rent, said company spokesman Kevin Joyce.

The plans add to the region’s growing options for shared office space, which is popular with tech workers and the creative set. Coworking spaces rent out individual desks and seats in shared offices, giving freelance workers and small companies a chance to set up shop on the cheap.

In the past year, at least three coworking spaces — Holy City Collective, Launch Pad and the Avondale Incubator — have opened in Charleston, and HQ Community, a Raleigh-based chain, announced plans last month to open an office in the area.

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703 or on Twitter @thadmoore.