SALT LAKE CITY — What once was a jewel of downtown Salt Lakeas one of the city's most prominent performance theaters is being reborn as a workplace for the high-tech new age.
Thursday marked the official opening of the newest "workplace as a service" multipurpose space — dubbed CommonGrounds Workplace. Located at 132 S. State in the former Orpheum Theatre building. The three-story, nearly 20,000-square-foot property will serve as "an enterprise-grade" space designed to serve all different kinds of business types as a flexible workplace environment, explained company CEO Jacob Bates.
"From entrepreneurs to startups, to local businesses to the Fortune 1500," he said. "In this space, we'll offer services such as conference rooms and meeting rooms. We have a barista on-staff (and) we're offering different events and networking opportunities, an honesty market, a communal kitchen, as well as other services."
Under its seven-year lease agreement with Property Reserve Inc., CommonGrounds did a major overhaul to the inside of the historic venue. The multimillion dollar renovation included a near-complete demolition of the entire building’s interior, as well as extensive upgrades and improvements while retaining many of the architectural details of the 115-year-old landmark building, according to a news release.
Originally constructed in 1905, the interior of the Orpheum Theatre underwent conversion into an office building in 2003 while the original facade remained intact. Bates, a Salt Lake City native, said the area's "vibrant, growing enterprise and entrepreneurial community" made the city "a natural fit" for a new CommonGrounds Workplace location.
Headquartered in San Diego, CommonGrounds Workplace develops and operates flexible workspaces and services, Bates said. The company's enterprise-grade, human-centric workplace typologies create highly productive and brandable environments for companies of all sizes.
The downtown Salt Lake space is the fifth location the company is operating, along with three California sites — Long Beach, Carlsbad and San Jose — and one in Denver. Plans are also in the works for several other locations across the country, Bates said.
CommonGrounds is a membership-based operation that allows members to work and collaborate in communal areas and other configurable, serving teams of two people to 200 people, he said. The entire building is equipped with high-grade network security at gigabit speeds, he added.
In addition, a proprietary app enables members to utilize a bevy of services, including wireless door entry, conference room reservations and registration for events. The company is currently involved in active negotiations with potential clients, according to Bates.Comment on this story
"This is definitely the future of officing and the future of work," Bates said. "The way people work today is very different than the way they worked in the past. This is definitely part of the office sector and it's a growing part of that sector."
He said the workspaces are designed with productivity at the heart of the vision and the removal of any impediments to that goal.
"Through human-centric design — paying attention to the five senses for you as a human — we're looking to make sure that all of those potential obstructions are (eliminated)," Bates said. "Friction goes in conflict with productivity, so we're looking to remove that through human-centric design."