New co-working space opens in Trumbull’s Hawley Lane Mall

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — Jeff Works, the new co-working space in the Hawley Lane Mall, is clean, modern-looking and sparsely decorated to the point that it almost doesn’t look like a shared office space.

It would make a great set for a science-fiction film, according Alicia Godmasch, director of studio services for Shelton-based film production company Jaigantic Studios. Godmasch and Jaigantic studio relations coordinator Devin White were among a dozen or so people who attended a ribbon-cutting for Jeff Works that took place Wednesday at the mall, 100 Hawley Lane.

Jeff Works is a membership-based program, where people pay $10 a month for access to the space. This allows them access to the technology and amenities of working in an office combined with the flexibility of working at home.

The space is ideal for freelancers, those starting their own business and others for whom a conventional office space isn’t the best choice, said J.J. Oshins, the chief investment officer with NRDC Equity Partners, which launched Jeff Works.

But Godmasch and White saw another purpose for the space.

“We think it’s fantastic,” Godmasch said. “It’s definitely a space we can use for filming. I can picture it being in some kind of futuristic sci-fi movie.”

Oshins welcomed that idea, and almost any other. One of the great things about Jeff Works is that the space can rise to meet a variety of needs and projects, from quiet workspace to movie set, he said.

“The world has changed and there is a need for flexible workspace,” Oshins said.

That’s particularly true in Trumbull, where nearly 13 percent of residents are self-employed, said Rina Bakalar, Trumbull director of economic and community development.

“We’re very excited about this opportunity for our community,” she said, adding that the space is ideal for those who want the flexibility of working at home, but the amenities of an office. “Sometimes, working at home doesn’t work out for one reason or another.”

Bakalar said the space’s affordability is another one of its benefits.

“It’s $10 a month,” she said. “That’s a glass of wine.”

Jeff Works offers about 6,300 square feet of space and 11 meeting rooms, high-speed internet, ergonomic furniture and other benefits. The company has one other location, in South Plainfield, N.J. The Trumbull space had a soft opening a few weeks ago, but Wednesday marked its official grand opening.

Oshins said he’s already had some interest from people looking to sign up, and he appreciates the support he’s received so far from local officials and businesses.

“The town has really rallied around us,” he said.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro spoke at Wednesday’s ribbon cutting. She said the COVID-19 pandemic, which led a lot of people to work from home, opened the door for innovative programs such as Jeff Works.

“There’s nothing good to say about the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tesoro said to Oshins during the event. “But one of the few good by-products is a business like yours.”