The last blog discussed the integration of our dear friend, the Emperor Penguin, and the branding traits chosen to ﬂy the ﬂag on behalf of Connect Coworking. These ideas have merged together in ﬁne form during the incubation period that has taken place as Connect Beta has been in operation since last August, allowing the team the chance to hone the infrastructural concepts that will eventually make the new space at 5th Avenue and Congress a success. This weekʼs entry speciﬁcally focuses on the new physical location itself, which is rapidly becoming ready as workers toil to get the new digs ready for the big opening day in May.
As recently as this past January, the location basically remained in need of a whole lot of work. “It was completely empty for three years, one big open space, demolished from the inside,” marveled Stephanie Bermudez, Community Manager for Connect. A dusty temporary staircase leads up into the northern side of the building facing Congress, as our group trundles carefully up the steps, avoiding a smattering of raw materials laying about. At the top of the steps, a sea of blue painter’s tape Xs adorns the newly-installed glass dividers, popping out visually among the bricks and white, unﬁnished walls.
We tiptoe, much like the Connect penguins that adorn our hard hats, carefully through the space amid the clatter and whine of hammers and drills assembling the future. Even in this newly-fashioned realm still awash in fresh dust, the rich history of Tucson all but vibrates directly from the exposed brick walls. Itʼs really a stunning juxtaposition, between what is set to be an ultra-modern, open, highly functional multi-use space, and the classic architecture that houses it all. The patio and outdoor lounge areas on the upper ﬂoor are going to be absolutely gorgeous places for the hardworking inhabitants of Connect to unwind or have brainstorming sessions.
There are also solid slabs of the original drywall with old paintings still present, which echo the apartments that were once here years ago, many of which will be kept to add a distinct ﬂavor to certain segments of the space. Despite being a few weeks away from completion, it is already crystal clear to visitors that this will indeed be a special place from which to conduct their ventures. The others who came along for the tour came away equally thoughtful about the power and possibilities inherent within this transparent, and therefore open, collaborative workspace.
“Weʼre just so excited about what this is going to be,” said Bermudez. “Itʼs going to be a very fun and funky environment, ﬂanked with a wall of old typewriters, but also completely professional with a full front-desk experience.” It is the merging of a mindset wholly committed to business, while undeniably intent on leveraging the creative impulses of a tightly-knit community, that will genuinely set Connect Coworking apart.
Next week, weʼll jump into the nitty-gritty further about that very subject, that which makes Connect Coworking genuinely different from existing executive suites and other spaces.
By James J. Jefferies