Ready-to-use office space

Kate Schwarzler operates Indy Commons, a co-working space in the old Opera House in downtown Independence. The business will host its first workshop on April 19 at 5:30 p.m., “How social does my business need to be?” It is free and open to the public.

INDEPENDENCE — The old Independence Opera House is in use, but instead of dances or performances, it will be packed with entrepreneurs and business people.

Indy Commons opened in the downtown spot and is a co-working space.

“It’s great for people who work from home occasionally, or don’t want to commute some days, but still want an office environment to work in,” said Kate Schwarzler, owner.

The idea came to her when she was working in Denver. Co-working spaces were becoming more popular.

“When I was in Denver, I was managing an office, and we were trying to find a new office space,” Schwarzler said. “Just dealing with the lease negotiations, and then you have to line up the utilities, and you have to do this and that, and it takes you away from your core business. It takes a lot of time to have to deal with that. So with a small office, this is a fantastic idea to be able to come in and you have your own desk space. It’s so easy.”

Schwarzler has a background in start-ups. When she moved back to Oregon last June, she tried working from home.

“I hated it,” she said. “So I thought about starting up a co-working space.”

Turns out, the owner of the Opera House agreed with Schwarzler that the building was a good fit for such a use.

Inside, large, L-shaped desks are available for monthly rent, as well as smaller desk spaces. All desks are “plug and play,” Schwarzler said.

“You have your own dedicated desk,” she said. “You can leave things behind; you can meet with clients here. So you just pay a flat rate and it’s monthly.”

Everyone who leases space gets access to the conference room, which is a quaint schoolhouse situated in the back of the building and can accommodate eight to 10 people, Schwarzler said.

Another classroom upstairs can accommodate 15 to 20, Schwarzler said, including future seminars and workshops.

“There’s space for people who need an occasional space,” Schwarzler said. “They can bring in their laptop, connect with the internet, print, meet somebody, but they don’t need a dedicated desk. They can come in and sit in any available spot.”

All spaces can be leased with a day pass, too, she said.

Indy Commons has all the amenities of an office without the hassle, and it keeps overhead low.

For more information: 503-930-4840 or email Schwarzler at

A ribbon cutting and open house will be held at 4:30 p.m. on April 21.

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