When renovations began in 2015 on a nearly 100-year-old mail terminal in downtown Omaha, the plan was to once again make the building an active commercial hub. Two years later, the renamed Rail & Commerce Building opened its doors to entrepreneurs, creatives, and thinkers and welcomed them to Omaha’s newest coworking space, Commerce Village.
Just south of Omaha’s Old Market, Commerce Village is a coworking community that boasts expansive views of downtown Omaha and a large list of amenities including a concierge service, free wifi, conference rooms and lounges, a fitness center and showers, secure indoor bike storage, parking, mail and package services and complimentary snacks, coffee and tea services.
“We are excited to welcome a diverse group of entrepreneurs to Commerce Village,” said Nicole McDermott, Community Manager. “Collaborative interaction is encouraged, from the open floor plan to the networking and social events we’ll host monthly; this space will be an exciting and creative work environment.”
The idea behind Commerce Village was to provide amenities to clients that make their day-to-day business operations as stress-free as possible so they can focus on innovation, networking, and growth within their businesses.
Available work spaces are flexible and accommodate unique business needs. In addition to office suites, Commerce Village also offers a virtual membership that provides a mailing address, mail services and meeting spaces, as well as single desk memberships which are available on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. Events and meeting spaces are also available for non-members to rent.
Other perks like daily food truck visits and furniture leasing make moving into Commerce Village even more convenient for new businesses. McDermott said the space is a great place to unplug and get work done even for people who have offices.
Originally opened in 1926 as the Burlington Mail Terminal, the building was a mail-sorting checkpoint and often processed special documents and large sums of money, making the security and efficiency of the facility highly important. After closing mail-oriented operations in the 1970s, the building was mostly unused except for sporadic storage.
Commerce Village was built in the former garage where trains came through to fill up with mail. The original mail shoots and many of the building’s original features remain and give the space a unique feel that is both old and modern.
Renovations were also done to make the building environmentally sustainable. Bluestem Energy Solutions will be installing solar panels on the roof and bringing in a Tesla charging station to reduce energy use and help power the building during heavy load times. The building also takes part in a recycling program and Verdis Group will be starting a composting program.
“We’re trying to be a really green space but the building itself is helping with that,” said McDermott. “Everybody involved, not just our floor, is really paying attention to the environment.”
Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.