A home office away from home

Inside Iona Workspaces, showing a wall of windows and exposed redwood beams.

One of the most innovative ideas to come out of late 20th century urban architecture is to repurpose buildings that were used for manufacturing and turn them to other uses. That is the idea that Michael McCollum brought to Alhambra. Using his experience of refurbishing several buildings in L. A., he noticed a boarded up, one-story, century-old 7,500-square-foot brick building at 1500 W. Alhambra Road. He bought the building in 2015 and went to work.

Among Mr. McCollum’s priorities were natural light and openness. He opened up the ceiling to expose the beautiful redwood beams, took layers of paint off the red brick walls, and increased lighting with skylights, glass doors, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer illuminating natural light.

He created what is called a co-working space. Co-working facilities offer access to professionally furnished offices without the cost of signing a long-term lease, acquiring furniture, or the hassle of running an office. This flexibility is a plus in such uncertain times.

Professionals and creatives can draw on the energy of others in the same field and different fields. Members in Mr. McCollum’s building have included people working in design, architecture, tech, app development, branding and marketing, law, finance, HR, consulting, accounting, and other fields.

“The pandemic has certainly presented both challenges and opportunities,” Mr. McCollum said. Workspace needs are changing from group activities to individuals working remotely. To accommodate the trend to personal use, and with more people wanting to work a few days of the week closer to where they live, Iona Workspaces offers individual dedicated desks. In addition, Mr. McCollum is now reconfiguring some of the building space into smaller offices of 200 square feet. These offices are perfect for individuals who need more dedicated space than a cramped home office allows. They offer more privacy than a dedicated desk and 24/7 access to the building. These unique office spaces should be ready in the spring.

To learn more about Iona Workspaces, Mr. McCollum has created a virtual walkthrough of the building on the Iona web site, https://www.iona.work, that shares information about its members, community events, the history of the building, and holding office events (after the pandemic).

The private work spaces share a break room, private conference rooms, and a lounge or living room area to take a rest. As a bonus, Iona Workspaces is adjacent to Burke Heritage Park with its expanse of tree-shaded lawn and its xeriscape garden in a quiet residential neighborhood. There is access to high-speed internet and ample free street parking.

Visit the website to take the virtual walk-through and for details including their COVID policy and a way to contact them by e-mail. Or call 323-496-3539.


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Jan 2022


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