Trumbull official: Co-working space thrives with growing post-COVID office needs

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — Until about a year ago, Tracey Adkins ran her business, Information Security Advisory Services, out of her home in Shelton.

But she realized she needed a change. “I really needed separation,” Adkins said. “I needed my work space and my home space.”

Then she heard about CoLab, a co-working space at 55 Merritt Boulevard that offers everything from desk space to private offices. Jeff Levene, managing partner of CoLab, said the space is ideal for small business owners like Adkins or anyone looking for a space to work away from their home or regular office.

“The majority of our members, this is what they use as their headquarters,” Levene said.

CoLab first opened in 2019, but Levene said its use has expanded rapidly in the past year or so. He said, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people who had been working at home turned to the space looking for a more “professional” work space. Levene said there are roughly 39 business using CoLab now, and the total continues to grow.

About 75 percent of the space is occupied, Levene said, but filling the space completely is only part of his end goal. “My goals have shifted to not only filling the building, but to helping these businesses grow up,” he said.

CoLab occupies about 26,000 square feet in a roughly 100,000-square-foot property that used to be occupied by Unilever. The whole property is owned by Levco, which provides fuel oil, propane and heating and cooling services.

Levene is a managing partner in Levco, which moved to the Trumbull site from Norwalk in 2019, shortly before CoLab opened. Other businesses occupy the property as well.

Rina Bakalar, Trumbull’s economic and community development director, praised CoLab as a thriving part of Trumbull’s business community.

“They have created a highly flexible and reasonably priced space option for businesses to locate in Trumbull,” she said. “The proximity to Route 8 along with the extensive surface parking has helped draw a variety of businesses and uses to the CoLab.”

In addition to Adkins’s company, businesses using CoLab include insurance companies, marketing teams, real estate firms, a window-cleaning company and others. The company offers hot desks, dedicated desks, private offices, and team offices as well as flex space.

CoLab membership is $65 a month and includes a hot desk (meaning members can use any unoccupied desks). Other workspaces are extra, and range from $85 a month for a dedicated desk to at least $385 a month for a window office.

Adkins said leasing an office through CoLab has definitely allowed her to thrive.

“It really provided me with a very affordable way to have the best of both worlds,” she said. “I have everything I need. I feel like I have less stress. It’s quiet. I love coming to my space.”

Levene said not only has the space been beneficial to the local workforce, but it’s been good for the greater Trumbull community as well. “This is local businesses who serve the local community working locally,” he said.

For more information on CoLab, visit https://www.colab55merritt.com/.