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Forward Cody CEO James Klessens sits in the new @theSquare co-working space located at the Bank of the West on Sheridan Avenue. The space has cubicles, tall chairs and private offices.

Want to take your business to the next level with a professional space but aren’t quite ready to make the commitment of a full lease? 

Forward Cody now has an answer, as its @theSquare co-working space is open at the Bank of the West at 1130 Sheridan Ave. What the open cubicles, tall chairs, and meeting rooms provide is a professional ambience and a downtown location that graduates an owner from running their business out of their favorite coffee spot or home office den, while retaining less of the financial burden that comes from renting out a full office space or building. 

“That co-working space becomes an opportunity,” said James Klessens, CEO of Forward Cody.

Spaces like these are opening up around the country, reflecting a trend of more and more work being performed remotely and virtually. 

The space is located inside the bank’s lobby but on the west side of the building, taking advantage of an open-floor layout. Computer monitors, desks and open tables give the facility a feel Klessens said he hopes will create a “making space community.” 

“Doing it because it matters, not just because some schedule says you should,” Klessens said.

Mike and Scott Darby, owners of the building, were instrumental in assisting with the project, putting up two walls to separate the space from the bank’s operations. They are also letting Forward Cody use the facility at a pro-rata basis.

“That’s another huge way they’ve helped,” said Corrine Hutchins, Forward Cody office manager.

Also providing assistance on the project was Americorps volunteer Wiley Weed, who provided a vision for the office layout and will paint two murals on the space’s walls.

There are eight working spaces and private office rooms are also available for meetings and video conferencing, including one space Klessens describes as a “pitch room.” LCD projectors and Bluetooth access will be added shortly. TCT has also donated a high speed internet connection and furniture was recycled from the shuttered Cody Labs facility. 

Participants will be able to have their business mail delivered to the address. 

A lounge area exists where people can take a breather with that first or fifth cup of coffee and there’s a collaboration area at the back of the space that can accommodate 7-8 people at a time. 

Business classes and entrepreneurial group meet-ups will also be offered.

For now, the space is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., but Klessens said they are working out plans to make it accessible 6 a.m.-midnight and at some point 24 hours a day. 

Participants can sign $100 monthly contracts for unlimited use of the office space during business hours and use of the mailing address. It will cost $20 for a single day rate.

@theSquare is not the first co-working space in Cody. Kayleigh Rust runs a co-working space from her Wild West Studio on 2904 Big Horn Ave. as well, but Klessens doesn’t see this as competition.

“We support the heck out of what she’s doing and will continue to do so,” he said. “We just want to support the concept of growing entrepreneurial culture.” 

Klessens sees the open space as spawning local business growth and overall community culture. 

“It’s kind of the jumping off point,” he said.

For more information, contact (307) 587-3136.

(6) comments

mark67

Wow. Tall chairs. I'm impressed!

J Lewis

How long has Forward Cody been in existence? 14 years? Does anyone know how many dollars of taxpayers money has gone to this organization? How many millions of taxpayer grant money has gone to the many busted Forward Cody projects? What has Forward Cody produced? How many jobs has Forward Cody created? If just one person (me) can come up with these questions, why won't any of our local news outlets ask the same questions and investigate? Is Forward Cody just an unlucky and doomed to bust failure or a cleverly crafted shell company that only benefited a few builders and the organization leadership?

Jim Jones

It seems to me Forward Cody and City Government are both off limits to any questions from let alone investigation by The Enterprise.

Stanton King

Uh, wow, this latest flash in the pan big idea from Backward Cody is really going to make a difference :) Anyway, let's delve deeper into this brilliant concept: Rent is $25 a day. $25 x 5 days (work week) is $125. 4 weeks = $500. Yep, I'd love to exchange my rent free home office (located in a spare bedroom) for this concept. Also, it looks like Backward Cody is also directly competing with local office space landlords. GOOD GAWD PLEEEEAAAAASE would some pull the plug on this taxpayer burden Cabal? But, hey, at least there is going to be two murals painted on the wall!

Jim Jones

But does your home office have high speed internet and a coffee machine?

Jim Jones

I'm slow so let me make sure I understand how this works. I can pay James Klessens $25 per day for the privilege of schlepping my computer, briefcase and work materials to this office where I'll have the opportunity to connect to high speed internet and work remotely with other people who may have Covid-19. After I'm done for the day, I'll have to pack up and take everything home.

While this idea isn't nearly as good as Jim's private Montana prison, it's up there.

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