The Commons at Space to Create Trinidad
The Commons at Space to Create Trinidad will soon be a busy hive of community energy, creativity and entrepreneurial efforts. With one eye towards enriching community life and another towards strengthening our local economy, the Commons aims to be a dynamic and ever-evolving place to gather, to share, to inspire, and to create.
The Commons is comprised of three store fronts that are combined into an expansive, open space of approximately 20,000 sq ft. More than half of the space is accessible directly from Main Street. Another 8,400 sq ft is comprised of the Toller garage, which is accessible through the main entrance on Main Street.
Artspace owns the buildings that make up Space to Create. The Commons area is being leased by the City of Trinidad from Artspace. The City will be leasing the Commons for the cost of expenses such as property taxes, utilities, and shared maintenance.
The Commons will open in phases starting in summer 2020. The first portion to be open will be offices for the Corazon de Trinidad Creative District and Trinidad Economic Development Coordinator, and coworking space. This initial phase also includes build-out of essential features such as adequate exits/egress and restrooms. The goal is to enable public use of the Commons as elements of the interior are finalized, funded and constructed.
To date, the build-out of the Commons is being funded by a mix of City and State money. Grants are being pursued at state and federal levels to fully fund the initial, basic build-out. A cautious and incremental approach is being taken with this project to ensure that funds are dedicated to the most productive and useful outcomes, beneficial to the greatest number of users.
The City of Trinidad has full authority and responsibility to build out the Commons, with design decisions guided by several sources. Data from the community feasibility studies, public meetings, and Market Survey, conducted at the onset of Space to Create, comprises one key piece. Second, an Advisory Panel of community members was assembled over the summer of 2019 to review design concepts and submit recommendations to City Council. Finally, a City entity, the Space to Create Commons Oversight Board, was recently established to oversee the development of the Commons.
From these inputs, several core elements for the design of the Commons have been prioritized:
Coworking & ”Comaking”
The first component of the Commons to be activated will be a coworking space, with a twist. Coworking spaces provide temporary work or office space with amenities such as high-speed internet, copiers and meeting rooms to support small businesses. This coworking space includes “hot desks” and meeting rooms for rent by the hour or day, but also includes “comaking” workshop/teaching rooms with sinks for things like painting and art classes, also for rent by the hour or day. Although the workshop rooms won’t have equipment like a Maker Space, such a space could be developed over time with enough interest and commitment from the community.
The coworking space will share a large area with the Corazón de Trinidad Creative District and the City of Trinidad Economic Development Coordinator. The goal is to make the space a hub to deliver information and small business support services, including partners such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
With a goal of supporting the growth and development of small businesses, the Commons’ retail concept is to offer small, affordable and flexible retail space options. The plan seeks to enable pop-up retail and other temporary venues for people to test their products and services, grow their businesses and perhaps “graduate” into other commercial spaces for rent in Trinidad.
The Commons Oversight Board is also entertaining proposals from businesses interested in building out their own space in the Commons. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Oversight Board to arrange a time to discuss ideas and tour the Commons.
One feature that has risen as a priority is a kitchen facility of some type. With consideration to cost, complexity and management requirements, the Advisory Panel and Oversight Board are recommending a conservative initial approach to the kitchen. Current plans are to build out a kitchen that has basic food prep equipment to facilitate catering for on-site events and provide food prep and storage for food vendors in the Commons. Ideally, we’ll also have a kitchen designed for events like culinary classes. There is much yet to be determined, with more funds needed to realize the final kitchen feature in the Commons. Please contact the Commons Oversight Board if you have a food concept for the Commons that could utilize an on-site kitchen.
A significant portion of the Commons is situated in the Toller Building garage, which is located behind the front portion of the Commons containing the flex retail, kitchen and coworking space. Accessible through the front portion of the Commons, the Toller garage is approximately 8,400 sq. ft. of open space. At this time, no plans have been made for use of the garage area. Please contact the Oversight Board if you have a business concept that could utilize this expansive space.
Want more info on the Commons?
If interested in learning more about the Commons, please contact the following:
Corazon de Trinidad Creative District:
Phone: (719) 422-3343
Commons Oversight Board:
719-846-9843, Ext 140