Less than two years after opening, a co-working lounge in the Old Sawmill District will expand this spring, adding 1,100 square feet and two-dozen desks in the city’s growing tech center.
Developers also plan to break ground this summer on a new commercial building within the district, giving one growing tech company more room to operate.
The Old Sawmill District showcased its plans for the C3 WorkLounge two years ago during a monthly social hosted by the Hellgate Venture Network. The space opened in October 2018 and has surpassed expectations, generating a waiting list for users looking to get in.
“The interest has been pretty high and people drop in regularly,” said Skylar Vukasin, marketing manager for the Old Sawmill District. “We’re expanding into the space that was our old office. It’s about 1,100 square feet behind the Dog and Bicycle Cafe.”
The new space will include 24 dedicated desks and a conference room. Vukasin said offices and dedicated desks remain in high demand as the current lounge, located in Cambium Place, is generally full.
“Our waiting list is always on the offices and desks – those are the top two,” said Vukasin. “We’re running through the waiting list to see who would want the new space.”
The co-working lounge represents one of the latest additions to the district, which saw the Sawyer Student Living facility open last August. As that facility was under construction, the Old Sawmill District unveiled its plans for a tech and innovation campus on the north side of Wyoming Street.
The first structure has been permitted and is set to break ground in the late summer, Vukasin said.
“We’re hoping to start construction across the street on the new commercial building this summer,” she said. “It’s exciting to see the neigborhood grow this quickly.”
When fully built, the new innovation campus will offer up to 200,000 square feet of commercial space and room for what developers said will be around 1,000 workers.
Last March, Cognizant ATG moved from downtown Missoula to the Old Sawmill District and took up residence in Cambium Place. The firm has added dozens of new employees over the past year, graduating three cohorts through a partnership with the University of Montana.
Expansion of the C3 WorkLounge has been well received by those who utilize the facility. That includes Danielle Hanna, who was among the first to sign up for the lounge in 2018 when the facility opened.
“I was thrilled to learn Missoula was finally getting a co-working space, and when the current space filled quickly, I wasn’t surprised and counted myself lucky to have grabbed my own dedicated desk early,” she said.
“I’m happy to see C3 expanding so that more freelancers, remote workers and entrepreneurs can have access to a professional work environment.”