A new co-working building called FLOCK is open in Whittier, and it’s renting space to creative professionals.
“It’s kind of like a creative clubhouse,” said co-founder Kristin Tongson-Hollander.
The Moorish Revival building is designed to feel like a coffee shop, with restaurant-style booths, long community tables, a production room, and nooks and crannies with beanbag chairs and couches. “Phone booths” provide a private place to work. A garage door opens to a patio, next to a coffee bar and kitchen where a chalkboard recently tallied the staff’s daily push-up count. There’s an old door from the University of Minnesota chemistry department labeled “Research,” and octopus tentacles painted on the hallway floor.
FLOCK co-founders Tongson-Hollander and Courtright recently relocated their business from Uptown to Whittier and decided to offer extra space in their new building to writers, coders, graphic designers and others in creative industries. They see an opportunity to give small businesses quick access to freelance copywriters, or give corporate workers a chance to get out of the office.
One of the first tenants to join FLOCK was the Alive & Social Network, which hosts audio and video podcasts. They’re using a new soundproof recording room in the building. Another tenant is Paul Riedner of the nonprofit Veteran Resilience Project, which helps vets recover from the stress of war.
The building at 2611 1st Ave. S. dates back to 1929, when Despatch Laundry built it to house its rug and office cleaning facilities. The copper Moorish dome helped earn the building city landmark status. It was previously home to SilverMark Design & Build and a law office, and a daycare attempted to open in the building before it became available.
Tongson-Hollander and Michelle Courtright operate the 10-person brand agency MADE. Their client roster includes Uber, Airbnb and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the firm is constantly dreaming up new ideas. For Mia, they suggested commissioning a crop artist last summer to plant a giant version of Van Gogh’s “Olive Trees” painting. They’re currently placing 19 “museum-worthy” frames near the Mississippi to promote a new landscape painting exhibit from the collection of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
FLOCK is currently taking applications. For more information, visit flockmpls.com