By: Paul Weideman
Published online: Sunday, January 06, 2013
Appeared in: Home, Santa Fe Real Estate Guide
Edition: January 2013 Vol. 15 No. 10
“I’m way more productive here than I am at home, and it’s definitely paying off.” That’s Eric Genesoto, founder of SEO Conquest, talking about his office space at CoLab at Second Street Studios. CoLab is based on the CoWork model of shared office space.
Genesoto does search-engine optimization. He’s fresh here from Reno, where he also had a CoWorking space, although that one was just oriented around long tables. “This is much better for me, because I have my own desk and filing cabinet.”
He and the other tenants at CoLab — among them freelance writer Roger Snodgrass and LEED certification reviewer Melanie Dubin — have 24-hour access; networked printer, scanner, and copier; broadband internet; a shared meeting room with projection-enabled conferencing, and a lounge and kitchen area.
“We took one of our older spaces and created a big, contemporary-style open area with 15 work stations,” said CoLab’s Wayne Nichols. “This is 2,700 square feet. It was a space that was available and we added a garage door to let light in. In the summer, the tenants can open that and have all that light and air.”
A CoWork adjunct at Second Street was a logical move for the Nicholses, who created the studio complex a little over two decades ago with Jonathan F.P. Rose, with project design by architect and planner Peter Calthorpe. It was the country’s first live-work, loft-type project built from scratch. Today, there are 80 units there. CoLab’s neighbors include artists, architects, designers, lawyers, doctors, fitness studios, the Northern New Mexico Group of The Sierra Club, Mothering Magazine, and Back Road Pizza, among many other businesses and organizations.
Nichols’ grandfather founded the Urban Land Institute, which gives the $100,000 J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. Past winners include Calthorpe, former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, His Highness the Aga Khan, and landscape architect Peter Walker.
Spaces such as CoLab are in step with the ULI’s mission to promote responsible use of land and create thriving communities.
CoWorking, according to the rap at colabatsecondstreet.com, is “the gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space. A 2007 survey showed that many employees worry about feeling isolated and losing human interaction if they were to telecommute.”
Nichols said there are three CoWorking sites in Albuquerque; this is Santa Fe’s first. “CoWorking spaces are generally about this size,” he said, standing in the main room at CoLab. “The philosophy is to create a sense of community. It’s for people who don’t want to be in their garage or bedroom.
“Susan and my daughter-in-law, interior designer Jennifer Langsdale, did the design and my son Sebastian did the construction,” Nichols said. “We had our opening on Feb. 11, 2011. We were aided by a $20,000 grant from the City of Santa Fe’s Economic Development Division and that gave our tenants free IT consulting, legal consulting, marketing consulting, and financial consulting.”
CoLab work spaces for independent professionals and small-business entrepreneurs are $250 a month.
CoLab also offers four private offices for those desiring a less open arrangement but sharing the same amenities. These range from $400 to $600 a month.
Second Street Studios is located at 1807 Second Street. For further details, see colabatsecondstreet.com or contact Wayne Nichols, 699-7280 and firstname.lastname@example.org.