Cool Coworking Space Spotlight

Township offers a local clubhouse for the modern worker

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Nestled along the picturesque shores of Richardson Bay, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Sausalito offers a unique blend of small-town charm and waterfront allure. 

This vibrant community, known for its stunning views, quirky boutiques, and rich maritime heritage, has long been a haven for artists, sailors, and those seeking a respite from city life. It's in this idyllic setting that Township has made its home, providing a fresh take on the modern workplace. Founded by Jordan Dodds, Township isn't just another coworking space — it's a type of neighborhood 'clubhouse that's redefining what it means to "go to the office" in an age of remote work and digital isolation.

How a family's need for space became a thriving business

Jordon DoddsDodds, a father of two young daughters, never set out to create a coworking empire. "This was a passion project," he explained. "My wife and I really just wanted a space to get out of our house, mostly during COVID. It was cheaper to rent something than to try to build it onto our little house."

What started as a search for a modest 400-square-foot space quickly evolved as friends expressed interest in sharing the rent and utilities. Dodds recalls, "After a while, it's like, oh, there might be a business there!"

Creating more than just a place to work

Township isn't trying to replicate the traditional office environment. Instead, Dodds has created what he calls a "neighborhood clubhouse." He explained, "I never really wanted to open a coworking space. I just thought people needed a place during the day to hang out and meet their neighbors."

This philosophy stems from Dodds' belief that the future of work is changing. "I don't think in the future people are going to be working more. I think technology advancements will eventually have us doing a lot less," he says. "But I also don't think people were meant to just sit at home."

Dodds' vision for Township was partly inspired by his experience serving on the board of directors for a local “yacht” club in Sausalito. While he appreciated the opportunity to meet different people in town, he felt something was missing.

"It was always focused more on drinking and music," Dodds says. "When we thought about what Township should be, we decided you can work here, but you can also just come here and drink coffee. You can come here at night and have a glass of wine."

Shining a light on isolation in suburban communities

Township's target market isn't just remote workers looking for a change of scenery. Dodds sees a broader need in communities like Sausalito — towns adjacent to larger cities with a high concentration of knowledge workers who own their homes and have families.

"We think there's this level of isolation in these communities," he explains. "If people had a place to go, they would meet their neighbors, make friends, and expand their network, which isn't always focused on business development. It's just more like, 'Oh, you actually live down the street from me. That's cool.'"

While many coworking spaces try to lure members with flashy amenities, Township takes a decidedly minimalist approach. "We have a coffee machine, and that's pretty much it," Dodds laughed. The space does include phone booths, but there are no private offices or hot desks to rent. This lean approach is intentional. "Our whole design was intended to bump into people,” he said. “It's all just kind of first come, first serve. We don't do day passes because I don't really want transactional people coming in."

township neon sign

The human touch in a digital world

In an age where AI and algorithms dominate our daily lives, Township stands out by emphasizing human connections. Dodds sees his role — and the role of future Township operators — as that of a community facilitator.

"We've come up with this term: each Township will have a 'mayor' of the Township," he explains. "The mayor's job is not just to operate, clean the counter, and change the coffee machine. It's to be that social glue that makes the connections."

This human element is what sets Township apart from other coworking spaces. As Dodds put it, "I think there needs to be someone who is the social connector."

A more human take on startup culture

Having spent time in the startup world, Dodds sees Township as a way to recreate the best aspects of that environment without the pressures of a single company culture.

"When you're at a small company, let's say anywhere between 10 and 50 people, there's such an amazing culture," he noted. "But what we can do now is the same, but you don't have to work at the same company. We're bringing that back, so that you're around exciting people and you're learning new things. But it's almost even better than it was before because now you're expanding your mind with folks that aren't necessarily in the same role, same companies, or even the same industry."

While many coworking spaces offer a packed calendar of events, Township takes a more laid-back approach. "Most of the programming is user-driven," he explained. "Where someone wants to talk about something or wants to do a panel, they do it. I’m here for them.”

This approach acknowledges the reality of members' lives. "Our members are mostly family folks," Dodds says. "If I try to do programming every night of the week, or even once a week, people just have other things in their lives going on."

As Township looks to expand, Dodds is focused on maintaining the community-centric approach that makes the Sausalito location special. "Our short-term goals are to do three or four locations regionally around the North Bay of the Bay Area," he says.

Looking further ahead, he envisions a network of Township locations, each run by a local who understands and cares for their community. "My hope is that we can do a more national message that's like, 'Hey, do you want to operate and own one of these in your town and be the mayor of the Township?'" he explains.

More than just a workspace

At its core, Township is about creating a space where people can connect, work, and live more fulfilling lives. As Dodds put it, "I think people have this new life where you don't have to work as much, and you don't have to work in one place. So you should take advantage of that."

In a world where remote work has become the norm for many, Township offers a refreshing alternative to both the traditional office and the isolation of working from home. It's a place where you can get your work done, sure — but more importantly, it's a place where you can be part of a community.

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