Dallas’ freshly rebranded East Quarter will welcome a new coworking space on July 1.
Colab Workspace will open its second location in a 110-year-old building at 2036 Commerce St. The coworking, private, and team office provider started five years ago in Fort Worth.
Owner and CEO of Colab, Blake Panzino, bought the 6,250-square-foot building on downtown Dallas’ east side about a year and half ago. When he first saw the building with its kaleidoscope of aged bricks — he knew it was the one.
“I think our architects did a great job of blending the old and the new and finding great balance of discovery around each corner.”
The brick walls offer physical proof of the many different businesses the building has housed over the years such as Bluitt Sanitarium, the city’s first African-American owned medical clinic.
In transforming the structure into a coworking space, Panzino didn’t want to completely erase its history.
“I think our architects did a great job of blending the old and the new and finding great balance of discovery around each corner,” Panzino said. “It’s not lost on me that this is a very uniquely aged and experienced building.”
The Dallas Colab location will have three levels, with each floor dedicated to different phases of a business’ growth.
The first floor is the open coworking space that can hold about 20 people, the second floor has private and pocket suites that range in size, and the third floor has three large offices designed for teams of up to 15 people.
“There’s something for every stage of your business until you just get to the point that you need your own space,” Panzino said. “The goal was to allow people that confidence to get their feet in the door, to get a space of their own, but then to know if they needed more or less that option is there.”
The entire building will be open 24/7 to allow tenants to create a flexible schedule. Members of the new Dallas location also will be able to access and work at the Fort Worth location for no additional cost.
“There’s something for every stage of your business until you just get to the point that you need your own space.”
Panzino is looking forward to the different tenants who will come into the workspace to create and grow in the community-driven environment.
“I’m here to build a beautiful space, make sure it’s well maintained, create opportunities for you to expand and contract but, at the end of the day, I want to get out of your way and I want you to have the best opportunity to focus on your business,” Panzino said.
Panzino is not only the owner of the new Colab location, he offices out of it himself. He enjoys getting to create a place that acts as the backdrop of innovation for creatives in Dallas-Fort Worth.
“I think the passion that comes behind something that is owned locally is hard to match,” Panzino said. “Nobody cares more about this space than I do and there are so many different ways to do this. For me, the way I have found to be successful is to put my heart into it.”
Photos of the building’s renovation in progress by Michael Samples.
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