Most political campaigns seek out small vacant storefronts or strip malls to temporarily set up shop locally.
Usually, these are not-so-aesthetically pleasing (or particularly desirable) setups with dead wires coming out of the floors, cheap office furniture set up in a not-so-feng shui manner and blank walls that seem to hum in the glow of fluorescent lighting.
After all, they won’t be there very long, so why get hung up on aesthetics?
Not so for the Tampa leg of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, though.
That campaign, which should be kicking into gear after Super Tuesday and ahead of the March 15 Florida primary, has instead chosen to go the hip route: it’s rented space at CoWork Tampa, a locally owned spot where professionals (typically, ones who work remotely) can rent workspace rather than contend with noise and shoddy wifi at a nearby coffee shop.
It’s not the first time CoWork Tampa has been the site of political events, at least on the local level. Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco held multiple events there during his run and to celebrate his victory.
Politics aside, having Trump’s campaign staff working the phones and basing their ground game out of the West Tampa site is a big deal for Chris Arnoldi, co-owner of the space, given the attention it brings the site.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “I’d probably have to pay thousands of dollars to get this kind of press.”
So, how did he land that deal?
Basically, someone he works with is a Trump supporter. Said supporter reached out to local campaign officials.
“And that got pushed up all the way to one of his senior advisors,” Arnoldi said.
Since they announced the Trump campaign would be setting up shop there, they’ve been catching grief on social media from Tump’s critics. After all, a place like CoWork seems to be tailored toward Millenials — not exactly a popular demographic for Trump (we admit we may have made ajoke or two about the larger-than-life candidate here and there as well).
Some have gone so far as to say they’ll never use the space again.
Arnoldi said he hopes people see the space, which has also hosted staff from the likes of Nike, Tesla, Solar City, Lyft, Special Olympics, American Society for Suicide Prevention, as politically neutral.
“In the past our space has shown support for both Democrats and Republicans,” he said.