Monroe, Ga. – The need to find a place to run his IT company outside of his home launched J.T. Anderson into a much bigger venture and one about which he can hardly contain his excitement. Instead of just finding a place for himself, Anderson teamed up with Melvin Music and founded Cowork at the Metro – a venture that has provided a workplace for himself as well as many others in the community – and much more.
“It has been a wild ride and couldn’t have worked out more perfect. God has truly blessed me,” Anderson said. “I mean if I could have laid out a perfect plan six months ago – this has been much better than that.”
Anderson went from finding a potential place with 4,000 feet that he may have been able to share with a couple of friends, to going into a 50-50 partnership on purchasing the old fertilizer plant from the city at 320 S. Madison Ave. in Monroe and converting part of it into a coworking community in Monroe. Cowork at the Metro offers offices, desks and other part-time business facilities for entrepreneurs to operate while surrounded by others forging a similar path for themselves. Other ventures that will go into the old fertilizer plant buildings include Major Humphrey’s Micro-Brew Company and plans for some additional recreational opportunities that are still being worked out, including a rock climbing gym. The City of Monroe retained the property adjacent to the buildings to develop into a town green.
The idea of the Metro has been so well received, that even while still under renovation, the office space began filling up. At the grand opening on May 31, 2019, many of the main office spaces were already spoken for.
“On the third floor we have six offices, two are left and one office downstairs, we just rented one today. So we have nine offices and five are left,” Anderson said at the grand opening. “And desk space, I think we have five or six desks remaining.”
Anderson said everybody involved with the project had been incredibly helpful, which made a “daunting” task flow really well.
“It has been incredible how everybody has rallied behind this – not just within my own family and friends, but even down to the City,” he said. And as far as the design and decor, Anderson said he just turned it over to Stephanie Cannon and let her have at it. Cannon was responsible for much of the decor at The Story Shop in downtown Monroe.
“I had an idea for every space and just turned it over to Stephanie. I cannot say enough about her,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic experience. I told her ‘You do whatever you want, I trust you, I know you – just do it.’”
The result was a unique, eclectic cowork community space with that would fit into any upmarket environment in the country, that brings a young, entrepreneurial flair to the City, and yet somehow still manages to reflect a little of the Monroe of yesteryear.
Cowork at the Metro offers “workspace that fits every need.” Memberships are offered that include high-speed fiber internet, use of a conference room and an office if that is what you need, a desk if that is what you need or even just a space to drop in with laptop to work in one of the unique shared spaces. A basic membership goes for $100 a month, a dedicated desk $300 a month and a dedicated office for $800 a month. There is coffee and water and a shared receptionist as well as the opportunity to get printing done and possibly network with other entrepreneurs and companies at the Metro.