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Longmont Local: Longmont coworking space uses history to inspire the future

Tucked into one of Longmont's historic buildings, The Times Collaborative wants to be a get away for remote workers.

At The Times Collaborative coworking space, Longmont’s past and present collide. The new work spot aims at inspiring remote workers through community and history.

The Times Collaborative opened in the historic building at 338 Main St. in March after more than a year of life during a pandemic, an era of work-from-anywhere normalcy. But the coworking space — a modern work solution — pays homage to its building’s roots.

The name of the new business refers to one of the building’s former owners The Daily Times, one of Longmont’s early papers that later merged with The Call to be The Longmont Times-Call in 1931.  Though the building had a face lift, the owner of The Times Collaborative Heather Marvin mixed elements from the original build that dates back to 1886 in the renovation.

In some of the private offices, the ceilings have plexiglass windows so the original structure can be seen. Old doors on the top floor from when the building was a boarding home still stand. Original hardwood floors run throughout the building. Old plaster and bits of wallpaper are randomly preserved throughout the coworking space walls.

“We leave plaster and wallpaper because it just tells us a story of the history,” Marvin said.

Marvin and her family purchased the building back in December 2018 while it housed other tenants in the street level floor, but got the building permit in March 2020 and opened the coworking space about a year later.

After a decade of working in the food industry in Boulder, Marvin decided to work for herself. But she found working from home to be more lonely and less inspiring than when she was in an office space. Marvin has now worked remotely for four years, but she said the pandemic reinforced the challenges of being isolated from others at work.

“I think that what all of us kind of realized throughout the pandemic is that we need to be around other people to inspire thinking outside of our own boxes,” she said. “And I think that that's really what's going to draw people out of home offices and into a shared environment.”

The Times Collaborative allows anyone to drop in for $30 a day and use whatever desk is available. There’s two conference rooms, and private offices and dedicated desks for rent with 24-7 access.

But The Times Collaborative has additional spaces to spark inspiration. When Marvin was new to remote work, she felt the most inspired by coworking spaces that had more than desks and chairs. Upstairs, there’s a seating area with a couch and ceiling-mounted swing chairs by large windows. The Times Collaborative has a licensed commercial kitchen so chefs can book it for ghost kitchens, food tests or as a commissary kitchen. 

The kitchen doubles for serving gatherings in the space’s event area on the first floor. The Time’s Collaborative hosts its own events but also rents to clients. It accommodates about 30 to 40 seated or 80 standing.

Eli McAdams, content writer for Acquire Internet Marketing(AIM) SEO, has used The Times Collaborative since June. She worked remotely partially before the pandemic. Having a young daughter at home and distractions like laundry, she feels more efficient when working out of the house. McAdams added that she likes the aesthetics of the coworker space and gets the chance to meet new people.

“It's just a really beautiful space. I find it kind of relaxing and inspiring just to be in a space that's exciting,” she said. “It's just wonderful to meet people from different areas.”

Marvin hopes The Times Collaborative can create a structured environment that motivates remote workers. But at the end of the day, for Marvin, it’s about providing a place for a community to form and inspire each other.

“I think it's easy to be really excited about working from home and the flexibility of having your own schedule,” Marvin said. “I think that it's good to check in with yourself and ask if you need some sort of structure, so somewhere to go once a week to get out of your environment, and focus or to see things in a different light. And to remember, what kind of energy and experience you have being around others and how important that can be.”

Ali Mai

About the Author: Ali Mai

Ali Mai is freelance writer and photographer, covering business for the Longmont Leader. She writes the weekly column "Longmont Local."
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