Two is Better than One: Coworking Coming to the Edmond Area
Site of Citizens Bank of Edmond’s coworking space. (Ryan Naeve/ The Vista).
Renovations for Citizens Bank of Edmond‘s collaborative coworking environment are underway for November according to the bank’s president, CEO and vice chairman, Jill Castilla.
Plans to establish a coworking environment for the city had been a conversation for several years, Castilla said. After visiting other coworking spaces in Oklahoma, she said she thought renovating the bank’s free space off of Broadway and Main Street would coincide with the bank’s 116-year history of fostering local business growth.
During the summer, a team from the bank conducted independent market research to see if the space would fit Edmond’s market. Castilla said after speaking to local businesses and entrepreneurs that the research found positive results for the vision of the space.
“We found that there is market demand,” Castilla said. “There is an audience for it and we are excited to provide resources so we can bring entrepreneurs together.”
The environment will function similar to 36 Degrees North in Tulsa, a coworking environment which houses several businesses such as media groups like The Frontier and non-profits like Leadership Tulsa.
Coworking environments can offer a variety of space options to local businesses from private offices to reserved desks. Other coworking spaces might lease or offer a membership rates to use the building and its amenities.
Castilla said the coworking environment will take membership route, offering several different options considering what type of space someone would like to use. The space will include different types of programming to help the local entrepreneurs and businesses grow, such as panel discussions and human resource management help.
“We aren’t aware of any other bank in the United States that offers coworking or a collaborative office or meeting space for its customers to use,” Castilla said.
Castilla said members who bank through Citizens will have an add-on they can add to their small business accounts, while someone who banks elsewhere will just pay the membership separately. The project is seeking different collaborative efforts with colleges like UCO and Oklahoma Christian University.
“We are hoping for university collaboration,” Castilla said. “We aren’t looking for any additional financial support.”
The bank is paying for the renovations of the space, including replacing the carpets, refreshing paint and adding a more modern feel. Castilla said the bank is also considering having a podcast room, education areas for speaking and utilizing the building’s outside space for different events.
The coworking space would be another project added to the Citizens Bank of Edmond’s list which also includes the Heard on Hurd and the technology banking center in Oklahoma City off of Ninth Street and Hudson Avenue.