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The Collaborative Workspace Training Series: Central Mass Training

Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EDT)

The Collaborative Workspace Training Series: Central...

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The Collaborative Workspace Training Series 

Are you interested in developing a collaborative workspace in your community?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is pleased to offer trainings for prospective collaborative work space developers, operators, potential funders, and public officials to learn more about the development of collaborative workspace across the state.

Collaborative workspaces are environments that inspire collaboration, explorations, and experimentation among tenants working in the innovation and creative economy. Collaborative workspaces, including co-working and makerspaces, often feature an open floor plan, various sizes of community meeting spaces, shared resources and other features that encourage interactions among tenants.

Learn directly from an experienced developer, Jen Faigel, who will frame key challenges and opportunities involved in creating and managing collaborative workspace environments.

Central Mass Training

May 8, 9am-12pm

Location: Becker College

Borger Academic Center, Science Lecture Hall 106

9 Washburn Sq. Leicester, MA 01524


This training will provide:

• An overview of the various models of shared spaces—including makerspaces, co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators, multi-tenant spaces, etc.;

• An understanding of the economic benefits of shared spaces for the businesses that use them, the operators that manage them, the building owners that lease to them, and the communities where they’re located;

• A discussion of the market analysis and other feasibility work involved in developing a concept for a shared space;

• An overview of the marketing and leasing process;

• An overview of key physical design and permitting issues to consider when developing shared space; and

• An overview of the development and operating budgets for various models.



Kick-Off Event

Join us on May 6 in Somerville to launch the collaborative workspace training series by getting inspired through a tour of two amazing collaborative spaces: Artisans Asylum and Green Town Labs. Anyone interested in shared workspaces is encouraged to attend this tour to see these spaces in action and hear from the people who run them.

                Launch Event

                May 6, 10:30am-12pm

                Location: Artisans Asylum and Green Town Labs

                10 Tyler St. Somerville, MA

                 Click Here to RSVP

Regional Training Seminars

In addition, the Commonwealth will be hosting regional training events around the state. 

Eastern Mass Training

May 13, 9am-12pm

Location: Quincy Chamber of Commerce

180 Old Colony Avenue, Suite 300, Quincy, MA 02171

Click Here to RSVP


Western Mass Training

May 15, 9am-12pm

Location: Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center

 100 Bigelow St Holyoke, MA 01040

Click Here to RSVP

*Please note the content of all the regional training events will be the same, the content is being replicated for the convenience of attendees in regions across the state.

More about Collaborative Workspaces

Collaborative workspaces are shared work environments that inspire collaboration, exploration, and experimentation among tenants working across the innovation and creative economy. Collaborative workspaces, including co-working and makerspaces, often feature an open floor plan, various sizes of shared meeting spaces, and other features that distribute business overhead costs while encouraging tenants to connect and interact. These shared spaces might be equipped with tools or office equipment, be places to read or host meetings or events or to prepare or enjoy meals, or spaces that make casual interactions among users easier and more frequent.  In collaborative environments, there is a focus on spaces that hold two or more people, rather than isolating individuals in separate, private offices.

Often collaborative workspaces are hubs of economic activity, becoming headquarters for many small and innovative businesses and creating a focal point for the clustering of creative and innovative businesses. These spaces are not only about the space itself, but center around the development of a community of innovation that is inspired by the tenants of the space. The intermingling of different businesses, industries and individuals is often fostered by community through events, community initiatives and joint projects.


 Examples of Collaborative Spaces and Hosts of Launch Event

Artisan’s Asylum

The Artisan Asylum represents a 25,000 square foot cluster of physical/manufacturing entrepreneurs.  Its mission is to support and promote the teaching, learning and practicing of craft of all varieties.  For a nominal fee—individuals and small businesses are offered a variety of daily, weekly, and monthly rate plans—members are granted access to an array of manufacturing equipment and facilities, as well as affordable, publicly-accessible classes offered by local artisans. Learn more: artisansasylum.com

Green Town Labs

Green Town Labs enables a vibrant community of entrepreneurs to work on their visions and to provide access to the space, resources, and funding that allows their early-stage companies thrive. In Somerville,  just 3.5 miles from downtown Boston, Green Town Labs offers 24,000 sq. ft. of prototyping lab and co-located office space, a shared machine shop and electronics shop, immersion in a growing community of energy and clean technology entrepreneurs, and on-site events and programs designed to enable start-ups to rapidly grow their networks and their companies. Learn more: greentownlabs.org

Jen Faigel, Presenter

Jen Faigel is co-founder and principal of Urban Idea Lab, a real estate and community economic development consulting practice focused on developing creative solutions to complex challenges facing the development of space in Massachusetts.

Faigel focuses on using commercial real estate as a means for job creation, small business development, and neighborhood revitalization. Her clients include developers, arts and culture organizations, youth groups, public agencies, and a wide range of non-profits. She works on a mix of retail, office, arts and culture, and industrial space. Signature projects include redevelopment of a former Brewery into a multi-tenant small business center in Jamaica Plain that is home to over 50businesses, and the transformation of a former meat factory in Dorchester into a wholesale food production small business center and business incubator.

Faigel frequently provides training on mission-based commercial real estate development for Community Development Corporations’ (CDCs), property managers, public agencies, and others, and has spoken at various conferences including the National Development Council, the Center for Community Progress, Smart Growth Alliance, and the Non-Profit Centers Network.

During her career, which has spanned over 20 years, Faigel has been involved in development of over 450 affordable homes, and 200,000 SF of commercial space, with a total investment of well over $200 million.

Hosts of The Collaborative Workspace Training Series

The Collaborative Workspace trainings are hosted by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Massachusetts Downtown Initiative and Mass Development.

The Patrick Administration continues to support opportunities for innovation throughout the Commonwealth as part of its emphasis on supporting economic growth and the Massachusetts economy. To learn more about the Patrick Administration’s economic development agenda, please visit: mass.gov/hed.


Contact the Creative Economy Industry Director for the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Helena Fruscio: email: helena.fruscio@state.ma.us or phone: 617-788-3600.

Have questions about The Collaborative Workspace Training Series: Central Mass Training? Contact Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

When & Where

Becker College, Borger Academic Center, Science Lecture Hall 106
9 Washburn Sq.
Leicester, MA 01524

Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EDT)

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