Marcel Imbach, cofounder of Vibe Coworks, posts a sign announcing the project’s upcoming construction. (Contributed photo)

Coworking space proposed in Poulsbo

POULSBO — More than 5,000 square feet of coworking space for professionals and creatives is proposed on 8th Avenue, opening in fall 2017.

Alanna Imbach said Vibe Coworks is expected to be the largest coworking space in Kitsap when it opens on Poulsbo’s 8th Avenue.

Vibe Coworks (www.vibecoworks.com) is the brainchild of Imbach, a 33-year old Poulsbo native, and her husband, Marcel, who will be relocating to Kitsap from New York City.

“We’ve spent the last 15 years living and working in major cities around the world,” she said in a project announcement. “We wanted to get back to the Pacific Northwest, but weren’t willing to give up our international careers in order to do that, and we weren’t willing to work from home full-time. We’d had phenomenal experiences with coworking communities in NYC, and knew the timing was right to bring something like that to Kitsap.”

Imbach said Vibe is geared toward the needs of local commuters, remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs — “people who are craving community, as well as a professional and flexible place to work that is close to home and imbued with a fun, high-performance vibe,” she said. “It’s also primed to support brick-and-mortar businesses that understand how providing their staff with a coworking membership can boost employee loyalty, happiness and creativity.”

Vibe Coworks is membership based, and a limited number of pre-sale memberships and private offices are available, Imbach said. Half of the available private offices have already been reserved; the remainder are expected to be fully sold out by the time the space opens next fall.

The project architect is Rice Fergus Miller; the contractor is Tim Ryan Construction. Vibe Coworks will feature conference rooms, private offices, individual phone/video booths, flexible event space, an outdoor balcony, lockers and a coffee shop-style community kitchen.

It will share the second floor with Crabtree kitchen + bar, a new venture being launched by her cousin, Peter Crabtree (see story in this section of the website).

“It’s very much a family endeavor and our vision for a different sort of community opportunity for Kitsap,” Imbach said.

“The building and the tenants going into it is based around a concept of a community central space — mixing work, drink and eating. It’s really unique, I don’t think we have something like that in Kitsap.”

“Even with the restaurants landscaping, the building is designed to be proving the food used in the restaurant. It’s very community designed taking us back to our roots.”

Seasoned tech executive Brett Eddy sees the space as a key step toward closing the tech talent gap that is felt throughout the Seattle region.

“I’m a big believer in the idea that we need intentional and spontaneous communities: places where we can create a culture of real-world, on-the-job learning to train up the talent we need,” he said in the announcement. “Vibe is going to bring us one step closer to being able to really drive that technology-empowered future, and that’s something I am very excited about.”

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson added, “Poulsbo is beautiful, affordable and full of creative, driven professionals who relish the opportunity to be part of Greater Seattle while preferring to live in Kitsap.

“Vibe Coworks will cater to professionals who understand that there are local alternatives to the long ferry commute. Having a coworking space of this caliber here in Poulsbo means both local and Seattle-based companies that are looking to recruit and retain top talent have something special to offer: affordable housing coupled with an attractive lifestyle. And those employees will remain fully connected to the work culture of Seattle.”