New Workshop17 co-working space opens in Paarl


South African co-working company Workshop17 has opened its latest co-working space in Paarl, Western Cape, in the heritage site Tabakhuis.

Disrupt Africa reported in August OPEN, which designs, builds and manages co-working spaces, was to rebrand as Workshop17 and further expand its operations.

The company already runs the Johannesburg-based Workshop17 Maboneng and Workshop17 Watershed at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, which opened its doors in 2015, and is in the process of opening a number of new hubs across South Africa.

The first new space is Workshop17 Tabakhuis, which opened this week on the corner of Tabak and Louws Street in Paarl in an historical building that was once used as a storage facility for tobacco. The building has been transformed into a work and meeting place for a community.

“I am very excited about Tabakhuis opening. We always look for locations with a wow factor, and Tabakhuis being a more than 100-year-old former warehouse definitely offers that,” said Paul Keursten, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Workshop17.

“Tabakhuis is our first location outside of Cape Town and Johannesburg. We strongly believe these regional locations offer a great solution to combine work and lifestyle, reducing time in traffic, enabling members to watch their children play sports, and still have inspiring encounters with fellow professionals and entrepreneurs in a great space to work.”

Along with over 140 hot desks, 16 private offices, four semi-private offices, and a café, Tabakhuis will offer members Ideas Lounges, pause rooms, informal meeting booths, and lounges – along with a fully-equipped seminar room that can seat up to 80 people.

“Tabakhuis’s design is centred around the social workspace within the café environment, and is aimed to encourage idea generation, collaboration and sharing between startups, seasoned professionals, and small and large companies alike,” said Westleigh Wilkinson, director of Workshop17.

Workshop17 Tabakhuis offers various membership options for all types of co-workers, from the frequent traveller who needs a couple of hours a month, to the full-time entrepreneur. Members with full memberships also have access to the other Workshop17 spaces in the country, including ones set to launch soon in Rosebank and Cape Town City Centre.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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