New project at Mason Building aimed at start ups
Through a new shared workspace and entrepreneurship center, the owners of the Mason Building hope to empower small businesses in Estacada.
The Estacada Powerhouse, located on the second floor of the building on Broadway Street, will rent desks and offices to business owners and employees and offer classes on entrepreneurship.
"This is almost like a second generation (of the building's second floor)," said Marianne Wille, who owns the building with her husband Tom. "We had businesses here for many years, and they were there for a long time. It seemed like they all moved on around the same time, which meant we could reinvent what we're going to call this up here."
Those interested will be able to rent shared desks at $150 per month or dedicated desks for $250 per month. High speed internet and printing are also available, along with a kitchen, conference room and spaces for confidential phone calls.
Tom and Marianne see the co-working space as a beneficial addition to downtown Estacada.
"There's more people working from home, but they still don't know there's downtown (Estacada). We want to see this downtown thrive," Marianne said, noting that Estacada's increase of new residents makes this an ideal time to draw people to the center of the city.
Along with opportunities for co-working, the Estacada Powerhouse will also offer classes on business and entrepreneurship, which will be both in-person and live streamed from other locations.
Inspiration from the past
Tom has an affinity for renovating older buildings and bringing them to typical period style. He and Marianne purchased the Mason Building in 2006 and renovated it shortly thereafter.
Tom noted that the building was built by the Masons, a local fraternal organization, around 1924.
"The way they built it was very typical for Masonic lodges," Tom said. "They rented out the (the bottom floor) to help pay for the building. They kept the upstairs for themselves, for their meetings and all their different functions."
Today, businesses on the first floor of the Mason Building are the Mason Jar Cafe, Countryside Physical Therapy and the Oregon Massage and Lymphedema Clinic. Businesses on the second floor are Lennox Jai Boutique, Bytagig and Randall Realty Group.
Similarly, the Estacada Powerhouse also derives its name from local history.
"The whole reason (the town of Estacada) got started was Portland was growing and needed more electricity, so they put a railroad here so they could build a dam to generate power," Tom said. "It's been almost 100 years since that happened. (This is the) Powerhouse 2.0 now. What that means is places for small businesses to grow and generate jobs."
To learn more about the Estacada Powerhouse and to sign up for a desk, visit estacadapowerhouse.com.
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