YOUBE, a new co-working space in the neighborhood, is officially launching this evening with an open house featuring art from Covenant House artists. We stopped by a few weeks ago and meet with Jenny Berglund Castro, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, who gave us a tour of the ground floor space located in Gillis House, a new apartment building at Melrose and Beachwood.
“We wanted to create a space where you work on anything, where you can focus or meditate, where you can just be!” explained Berglund Castro when we asked about the origin of the name. YOUBE is open weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Founders Berglund Castro, who serves as Co-CEO with Stephan Agerman and Babak Kheshti, CTO & Co-Founder, were looking for a place where they could work without a huge financial commitment to a lease.
“We wanted to make it a step up from a coffee shop but cost about the same,” Agerman told the Buzz. “Here you get the coffee for free and the space costs about the same as the latte. We even have almond milk!”
According to Berglund Castro, the average cost is about $6 per hour. They wanted to keep the prices affordable so people could feel like they could drop in when they needed the working space for themselves or a small meeting. Clients download their app where they can buy credit and book space by the hour. You can choose from a desk, a shared table, a small meeting room, or a pod where you can have complete quiet. Credits are valid for thirty days.
Before the pandemic, while working as gig workers and weary of loud coffee shops and expensive coworking spaces, Berglund Castro and Agerman told the Buzz they decided their must be a better way to create flexible shared office space and fill out empty store fronts at the same time. Yoube Larchmont is their second location, there’s another one in West Adams. Berglund Castro told us they are hoping to open 50 locations around the city with the venture capital supporting their effort.
“We think there should be one in every neighborhood so people don’t have to commute,” said Berglund Castro.
They have also partnered with Poppin, which provided the office furniture for the space and offers a discount code to clients who want to buy the furniture or other products.
Building owner Mishel Mikail said he considers YOUBE an amenity he can offer the tenants who live in Gillis House. He discovered the business when it was looking at another space and thought it would be perfect for this project.
“We are right across the street from Paramount Studios, we are 75 percent leased with high income earning tenants living in one bedroom units, the average size unit is 650 square feet, there is a 4500 square foot rooftop amenity and a gym offering a five star experience in this wonderful neighborhood,” said Mikail.
The 52 unit project was not initially embraced by the neighborhood but ultimately won enough support to move forward. There are also 5 studio units for low income residents, in exchange for a density bonus granted to the development. According to Mikail, the City has leased three of those units.
“Tenant earn credits with their rent, so they can just go downstairs to work instead of staying home in their pajamas,” Mikail to the Buzz. “This is a perfect co-tenancy for us and residents are already using it.”
Mikail told us the other corner of the building will soon be home to Alfalfa, a Hoboken New Jersey-based restaurant offering high quality salads and healthy plant-based menu. Larchmont will be its second LA location; it has another restaurant in Santa Monica.
Bergland Castro said YOUBE is also available as an event space for anyone who needs space to host an event in the evening. Recently it has been programming the space with events like art exhibits and poetry readings.
YOUBE is celebrating their opening with a reception and open house this evening.