Starting a co-working space was actually a bit of an accident. Our art studio (Luke Armstrong and Molly Nicklin) and RenMind’s office was in Benson. It was a basic, kind of rough space with alley access and we were looking to upgrade. I was up late looking at craigslist and commercial real estate sites and saw that the old grocery store up on 40th and California was for sale. Molly and I both got really excited and knew that it would be ideal space for us with room for some friends.
We floated an offer and we started thinking hard about what we actually wanted to do with the space. Co-working seemed a natural fit, it could work with an art gallery and we thought Mid-town could use a co-working space – the timing was just right. We love this part of town with all its personality, and a culture that is growing and changing. We have a large, open room for a co-working with an art gallery area and three offices big enough for two desks. We hope Cali Commons will be a space for artists and entrepreneurs to find inspiration and productivity in a relaxed natural setting.
For us it’s an adventure and we wanted to cater to those with adventurous spirits. Our aspiration is to find individuals who want to support a space for local artists and entrepreneurs, individuals who want to grow and help others grow too. Cali Commons will operate a little differently from some co-working spaces. We don’t really want people to stop in to work for just for a day or stop in one week and not the next. We want to build relationships and community. It’s kind of an experiment to see if we can really build an engaged group that can be more than any individual out on their own.
* No co-working when events are happening (occasional evenings and weekends)
Why here, why now?
We didn’t know of any other co-op spaces in Midtown Omaha. We’re close to Dundee, Benson, Downtown.. and that’s where a lot of people live and where stuff is happening. We’re a little bit different because we come from an art background and the space will have new art on the walls each month and occasional events and shows. We also have the goal of being affordable. An office will cost about $300/month and a co-working space will be only $125/month. We’re going to keep it down to around 10 people using the co-working space on a monthly basis to keep numbers down and hopefully we’ll have a good group of people that will keep coming back. We’re also going to keep it casual. There will be coffee and tea (maybe the occasional beer) but that’s about it. You can bring your own lunch, come and go as you’d like and have a guaranteed space.
518 N 40th St
Omaha, NE 68131