CoLab venture to open doors in Port Townsend today
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Heather Dudley Nollette, left, and Frank DePalma, co-managers of the Port Townsend Co-Lab, prepare for today's 'soft' opening.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend CoLab, which has its soft opening this morning, will be defined by its users, according to those who spent two years bringing the idea to fruition.

“It could go in many different directions,” Frank DePalma said.

“It could be mainly a work space, or mainly a social place or mainly for workshops,” he said.

“There are no hard and fast rules.”

“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Heather Dudley Nollette, DePalma's partner in the venture at 237 Taylor St., above the Silverwater Cafe.

“We want to see what the needs of the members are and how they adapt to the space.”

The 2,300-square-foot suite will include individual work spaces, two conference rooms, a kitchen — with free coffee — and a printer.

It will operate on a membership model.

Fees range from a one-day $20 “drop in” charge through four levels of part-time clients paying $50 to $200 per month to two options for full-time workers.

The most expensive option, $375 per month, includes a dedicated desk.

The facility will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to start, but member agreements will accommodate a 24-hour access, Nollette said.

Nollette said that “a number of people” already had expressed interest in a full-time residency.

The cooperative working model, which is gaining popularity in both big cities and small towns, provides a common work space for freelancers or independent workers, offering shared resources such as conference rooms, office space and Internet service.

Cooperative working environments also offer places for people to interact, share their expertise and develop joint projects, the managers say.

Organizers, who are optimistic that the concept will take off, have signed a three-year lease.

Nollette said it will take a few weeks for the space to be finished.

The completed area will include installation of “Superman booths” where members can have private conversations.

Office supplies, white boards and art for the walls also will be purchased and installed.

“This space is a template for our members to come in and fill out,” Nollette said.

“All of them will have a say about how we operate.”

For more information, see, call 360-301-3779 or 206-387-9846 or email

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

Last modified: February 18. 2013 5:59PM
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