Reno Collective co-working space moves to a Midtown mansion
The Reno Collective, a downtown Reno co-working space, moved for the fourth time since the business started in 2009. But this time, its new Midtown mansion should be its "forever home."
The Reno Collective provides paying members an office space, a desk, business address and other resources for people freelancing, running their own startup tech businesses, working remotely or just trying to escape their boss.
The Reno Collective started in Don Clark's Cathexes architecture office on Bell Street in 2009, then moved to an office building on California Avenue and then the "fish bowl" at the bottom of Arlington Towers.
The new mansion is 6,000 square feet, five times larger than their original location, at 1515 Plumas St. near Coffee Bar.
"We weren't looking for more space, but a different use of space," said Colin Loretz, co-founder of the collective. "Right now the (current) building is a giant cavern."
Membership started with about 12 people nine years ago, Loretz said. In the "fish bowl" on Arlington Avenue, it grew to 36. And over the last four years, it grew to 100-120 members per month.
Loretz said membership varies monthly, so those 100-120 people are not all the same. Over the entire eight years, he has seen more than 1,000 people sign up to work at the Collective. But, he said, that's OK because he isn't trying to pack as many people as possible into the place.
"It's about getting the right people in with the right skills to learn from each other," he said. "If we wanted to get as big as possible, we'd be like a gym and just sign up anyone."
But that would cause culture issues and conflicts he said he wants to avoid.
The new mansion building will offer more space, but also more opportunities for varied uses. Loretz said it includes 20 parking spaces for members and their clients, two sound studios for podcasting, music and video production and more segmented office space for presentations and special events.
"The music community really cherishes the mansion and we're not tearing anything out," Loretz said. "We like that it's got all that."
The mansion used to be Sierra Sonics Recording Mansion and previously hosted musicians, such as Dr. Dre and Eminem, according to the announcement.
The house was purchased by one of the Collective's owners who will lease it to the business.
"We would not have been able to buy it by ourselves because co-working in these markets is difficult," Loretz said.
The Collective has persisted for nine years, but Loretz said freelancing and running a solo business is much harder in Reno because of inconsistent clients and low pay compared to the Bay Area or other large tech cities.
The new home allows them to explore new membership styles to attract community supporters, studio members and other people who want to be part of the Collective without using it for daily desk space.
The old "fish bowl" will close May 27 and the new mansion will open June 5. Loretz said they still have a lot of work to do but it will be ready.
"We'll celebrate 10 years soon and get to do that in the new spot," he said.
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