Working together: New coworking space Cubit Coworks now open on Race Street in Holyoke

  • Denis Luzuriaga sits at one of the tables he and his brother, Marco, built from re-purposed doors - with the help of a local welder - for their co-working space, Cubit Coworks, in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Denis Luzuriaga, left, gets a visit from Tyler Carrier, a graduate of, and lab technician at, the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute located one floor above the co-working space Cubit Coworks. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Cubits Cowork, the new coworking space in Holyoke, features a large open area with tables at its core, with smaller offices and conference rooms around the perimeter. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A view out from one of the two conference rooms at Cubit Coworks, the co-working space that has opened in the former Cubit Wire & Cable Co. building on Race Street in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The former space for a freight elevator has been turned into a relaxed alcove at Cubit Coworks, the coworking space in the former Cubit Wire & Cable Co. building in Holyoke. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Denis Luzuriaga talks about one of his larger works of art that has found a home at Cubit Coworks, the co-working space he and his brother, Marco, opened in the former Cubit Wire & Cable Co. building in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Denis Luzuriaga helps clear snow at the entrance to the Cubit building in Holyoke, where he has opened the coworking space Cubit Coworks. STAFF PHOTO /KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jason Katsoris, owner of Holyoke Marketing Company, talks about his experience having an office at Cubit Coworks, the co-working space opened in the former Cubit Wire & Cable Co. building in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jason Katsoris, owner of Holyoke Marketing Company, works in his office at Cubit Coworks, the co-working space in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • One of two "phone booths" at Cubits Cowork, the co-working space in Holyoke, features a working land line. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • "Premium coffee and tead" are listed as perks in literature for Cubit Coworks, the new co-working space in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • This is one of two conference rooms at Cubit Coworks, the new co-working space in the former Cubit Wire & Cable Co. building in Holyoke. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Denis Luzuriaga, owner of Cubit Coworks in Holyoke, saved, restored and modified the facade of the building's original coal furnace (later converted to gas). Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Cubit Coworks, the new co-working space in Holyoke, features its own shower for patrons who opt to bike to work or want to save a trip home before going out after work. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 12/23/2019 12:13:47 AM

When Jason Katsoris was looking for a new office space this year for his marketing company, he didn’t originally think a coworking space would be for him. But that changed when he discovered just such a space “loaded with technology” in downtown Holyoke.

The owner of Holyoke Marketing Company is now a member of Cubit Coworks, and has moved his business into the fledgling coworking space at 164 Race St.

“I think people want to be in this space; I obviously do,” said Katsoris, noting that he hopes it will provide the chance to work alongside other professionals from a variety of fields.

Holyoke Marketing is one of a handful of businesses that have set up shop at Cubit, which is one of several shared work spaces in the Valley that have opened in recent years. Other coworking spaces include Click Workspace in Northampton, AmherstWorks in Amherst and Commons Coworking in Williamsburg.

Coworking is a growing movement to create community spaces for the self-employed, developers, writers, entrepreneurs and other freelancers who want to work on their own but still have a regular gathering spot where they can mingle and swap ideas.

Cubit Coworks, located in the basement of the Race Street building, opened in November and is the final piece of a successful redevelopment project. The rest of the building houses the Holyoke Community College MGM Culinary Arts Institute as an anchor tenant, as well as 18 apartments that are occupied.

Its developers, Denis and Marco Luzuriaga, say they are far from finished developing property in Holyoke.

Memberships at Cubit Coworks start at $150 a month, and allow members to use desks in the nonoffice spaces. At $250, members can reserve a desk in an office, while the rental of offices, of which there are seven, start at $550 on the low end.

All members can use one of the two conference rooms in the space for a number of hours a month, and two phone rooms, one of which has a landline and a rotary phone.

In addition to Wi-Fi and free coffee, the space also has a shower that members can use. Luzuriaga said that the shower access is meant to encourage members to bike to the space.

Additional amenities, such as a copy machine, are also set to come to Cubit, access to which is 24/7 via key fob.

In addition to Holyoke Marketing, the space houses the Alex Morse for Congress campaign. Both Holyoke Marketing and the Morse campaign have full offices as part of their memberships.

Luzuriaga said that about 18 people who are either members or who work for entities with memberships utilize Cubit Coworks, and that he would like to that number increase to 50 by spring.

A personal touch is also visible at Cubit Coworks. The space has a number of Luzuriaga’s paintings in it, and he and his brother helped build the tables in the coworking space’s common areas, which use old door slabs from a restaurant supply company and metal bases designed by Marco. The paints and light fixtures in the space were also selected by Denis and Marco.

“In the end, this is an extension of my brother and I,” Luzuriaga said.

Signs of the building’s industrial past are still visible. Panels from the building’s old boiler are used in an art project, as is the panel from the old freight elevator. A drop ceiling is also not a part of the space, which Luzuriaga said was a deliberate choice.

“This is an industrial building, there’s no hiding it,” he said.

Denis Luzuriaga was born in Ecuador to an Ecuadorean father and an East German mother. He grew up living in various parts of the world. Before he became a developer he was a freelance illustrator. His brother partnered with him as a developer after he sold his information technology company in Washington, D.C.

Prior to moving to western Massachusetts, Luzuriaga lived in Jersey City. He said that one of the reasons he and his partner, Marjorie Latham, settled in Holyoke 14 years ago was because of how it reminded him of Jersey City.

“It’s the best place to be,” he said.

He also praised the city’s cultural mix, and noted its place in the Knowledge Corridor, which includes the Springfield, Hartford and New Haven metropolitan areas.

The 164 Race St. building was formerly operated by Cubit Wire, which closed in 2013. The brothers purchased the building in 2015.

Luzuriaga and his brother are first-time developers, and he said securing HCC’s culinary arts school as a tenant was vital for financing.

“That was almost indispensable,” Luzuriaga said.

The building’s apartment tenants can use Cubit Coworks for social purposes on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays.

He said that the development is a financial success, and a good long-term investment.

Luzuriaga said that he and his brother are in talks with an anchor tenant to build a new building on Race Street, and hope to break ground in summer 2020.

They’re also interested in developing the Armour and Company Building on Race Street, which they own, so that a restaurateur can open a restaurant there.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@ gazettenet.com.




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