Coworking space opens in former bowling alley, with hopes of providing a boost for Kimball Junction
Kiln offers office model for remote workers
Kiln, the new coworking space inhabiting the former site of Jupiter Bowl at Kimball Junction, feels nothing like a bowling alley.
Save for a few decorative bowling pins sprinkled into the decor, the makeover of the prominent Newpark building has been extensive, with sharp angles, glassed-in offices and mid-century modern touches populating the space.
Kiln members rent workspaces ranging from large, communal tables to dedicated offices with accomodations for up to 20 team members. It seems to cater to the millennial startup crowd, offering kombucha on tap and a podcast recording room.
The 22,000-square-foot building was vacant for roughly a year and a half, and nearby business owners are optimistic that Kiln’s arrival can provide a boost for the area.
Brooks Kirchheimer, co-founder of Hearth and Hill restaurant, which is a two-minute walk from Kiln, called the coworking firm moving in a “best-case scenario” and said he was excited for the increase in foot traffic.
Kirchheimer said his restaurant and Kiln serve similar clientele, and he sees the Kimball Junction area becoming a “new Main Street.” While it may not offer the charm of Old Town, Kirchheimer said, Kimball Junction has modern conveniences and plenty of free parking.
Paige Courtney, who co-founded Chop Shop, a butcher and restaurant just around the corner from Kiln, said she had already seen an uptick in business.
“It’s like a real community again,” she said.
Courtney said she’d seen a busier lunch rush and an increase in grab-and-go purchases at the end of the business day.
“It’s a flurry of activity that gives business to other spots,” she said of Kiln’s presence, adding that a few other businesses have opened nearby since the coworking space announced it was moving in.
Kiln opened the Newpark location April 7, joining three others on the Wasatch Front and one in Boulder, Colorado. It is one of at least three coworking spaces now in Kimball Junction.
The area has seen its share of business turnover, and the former Jupiter Bowl building’s size and cost of rent might make things challenging for other enterprises.
But Kiln representatives say this is the smallest space the firm operates, and they appear undaunted at its size. One of its Lehi locations, for example, covers 85,000 square feet.
Kiln’s arrival may be part of what local business owners hope is a time of ascendency for Kimball Junction.
Tori Sowul, the Park City native who is the community director for Kiln Park City, said the firm is joining new restaurants, coffee shops and businesses in making the Junction a hub to rival Park City’s Main Street.
Kelsey Glazer, Kiln’s sales and marketing manager, said that membership sales in Park City were the strongest of any location before it opened, and that there is a waitlist for two-person offices. That might have been aided by the recent influx of residents who worked remotely here during the pandemic, she indicated.
Glazer said members include CEOs who live in Park City and want to escape working from home once or twice a week, as well as people who work in finance, consulting, technology and design.
On a recent morning, the space was a bustle of activity, with people working intently at screens or taking a break in the kitchen while contractors put finishing touches on some of the offices and toted huge ladders to reach some of the space’s higher elevations.
It feels airy inside, with high, open ceilings and skylights.
There is a wellness room with a full-body massage chair and facilities to support biking and skiing, including showers and plans for ski lockers and a gear room with tools for tuning equipment.
A monthly membership starts at $275 for a shared space, $495 for a designated private desk with a locker and more privacy, and, for an undisclosed price, private offices capable of supporting teams of two to 20.
Sowul, an entrepreneur who has worked in many fields, said Kiln is attempting to cultivate a form of cafe culture, a place where people can share ideas and collaborate across industries.
There are also dogs, with one named Amos drawing several smiles.
“You can wear a suit here, have a private office, then step out and mingle with people in flannel,” she said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Kiln is located in Redstone, rather than Newpark.
Those in opposition to the Tech Center project argue Kimball Junction, which is already congested, will be negatively impacted by more people living and traveling to the area. Supporters say it could ultimately help fix the community’s traffic issues while also addressing concerns about workforce housing.
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