As an early adopter of coworking spaces, Denver now leads the trend of specialized shared offices from construction trades to professional artists.
“Construction is a dog-eat-dog world,” said Bryce Ballew, who founded Tradecraft with his brother. The 19,000 square-foot coworking space “is built to give its members bigger teeth.”
The self-described “blue-collar, business-minded community” offers continuing education classes, a referral network, and material storage. “We don’t have ping-pong tables or foosball,” said Ballew. “It’s a fun place to work, but it’s designed for work.”
Supporting women who work a “second shift,” managing caregiving and the household is at the heart of Women in Kind, another locally owned coworking space. There are two rooms and homework desks for children, who are only allowed on the first floor. If members need childcare, they can turn to Nanno, an on-call service who also has offices in the building. Another on-site business is MOD Assistants, which provides virtual receptionists and schedulers, vendor research, kitchen organization, and other tasks you didn’t know you could hand off.
“Our goal is to help women succeed professionally… That means seeing the many challenges women face at home and at work, removing obstacles for women, and taking responsibilities off the shoulders of individual women,” said Virginia Santy, WinK cofounder and single mom who also runs two other small businesses.
Collaboration is key at the Posner Center that brings together nearly 200 nonprofit and for-profit organizations focused on solutions to global poverty. Years ago, the historic building once housed horses and mules who pulled trolley cars.
Located on one of the streets the trolley cars once traveled, EsqLegal is for lawyers who advise tech entrepreneurs, businesses, and venture capitalists. It’s one of several coworking spaces for attorneys.
After Colorado voters legalized pot, professional artists found themselves getting squeezed out of warehouses when the landlords could make more money renting to marijuana grow houses. Enter the Art Gym with monthly membership fees starting at $100. The 17,000-ft space features studios for painting, sculpture and dance/yoga, a digital lab with all the latest film editing software, equipment for printmaking and metalsmithing, and a commercial kitchen.
“I love the community here — the support from others, the mutual interest in each other’s projects, the friendships that have developed over the two years since I joined,” said Eric Porter who paints and draws. “When … the space is crackling with people’s creative energy, that charges my creativity.”