Reports about coworking spaces opening may have become commonplace, but there’s a new twist on the concept taking place at 55 Merritt Blvd. in Trumbull.
That’s where Levco Mechanical Group, a mechanical contractor specializing in heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration, has created a coworking space catering to tradesmen and craftsmen.
The Norwalk company has engaged Colliers International in Stamford as the leasing agent for the 110,000-square-foot building, which was the site of Unilever before it moved to Shelton in 2017.
“We are excited about offering something different and unique to tradesmen, craftsmen or anyone looking for good, clean space with very flexible terms, unbeatable parking and even deluxe offices already built out,” said Levco Mechanical Group President and CEO Robert Levene. “The idea of a co-located commercial community is an innovated way to repurpose what was originally a multinational corporate headquarters campus.”
Leasing of the site will be led by a Colliers team consisting of Senior Managing Director Robert Miller, Client Services Coordinator Tim Johnson and Managing Director Enzennio Mallozzi. Lease term lengths are available from as short as three months to as long as 10 years. The site currently has a listing rent of $8 NNN. Levco can build double height space for tenants in which the asking rent would be $16 NNN.
NNN stands for net, net, net, pass-through expenses of leasing that are paid by tenants or lessees in addition to rent or lease fees. The NNN fees are property taxes, property insurance and common area maintenance. Miller explained that such an arrangement is important when dealing with tenants who may come and go at all hours and require different levels and uses of power.
“This is a new idea that’s different and unique,” Miller said. “Tradespeople, contractors, landscapers all usually end up in their own separate buildings. Here they can cohabitate with other people and bounce ideas off each other, or even help each other with servicing their clients,” features that are regularly touted by white-collar coworking companies, which are likewise focused around flexible lease lengths and space requirements.
Levco owns the building and is managing the property. “They even have a small office there,” Miller noted.
Johnson said the former Unilever building checked most of the boxes that Levco was looking for. “It’s a conveniently located property, right off of Route 8, which provides direct access to I-95, I-84 and the Merritt Parkway,” he said, “and there are over 400 parking spaces.”
As to why Levco didn’t stick with its home base in Norwalk, Johnson said, “There’s really been a depletion of industrial property there and in Stamford that would be suitable for this. There are a lot of companies getting priced out of Stamford, Norwalk and the surrounding area.”
Miller said that Colliers had already had one showing at the space, and that he anticipated lease signings to begin to be finalized as the year goes on.
“We’re always kicking around ideas on how to readapt older buildings for the current marketplace’s needs,” he said. “When this idea popped up, it seemed like a natural.”
He noted, however, that the space is not limited to the coworking concept. “We’re happy to lease to anyone in the traditional manner as well.”