CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — As Castle Rock continues to grow and expand, it’s working on attracting new businesses to the area. A major focus has been on tech companies, particularly start-ups.
That’s why in 2016, the town got together with a few of those businesses and some local developers to come up with the idea behind The Move.
It is a 50,000-square-foot, three story building that is designed to meet the specific needs of tech companies.
“It’s really a neat story. So, we had a handful of tech companies that were expanding in Castle Rock and we didn’t have any commercial office space available for them and they were looking to leave the community. So, we got all of them in a room and we went through a handful of developers to see if there wasn’t an opportunity to build them a building,” said Kevin Tilson, the director of the Castle Rock Downtown Development Alliance.
That meeting laid the foundation for The Move. The building is unique, both in its design and its layout. On the outside, it looks like a modern, art-deco style building. On the inside, it’s got all the bells and whistles of any other tech building and a few more.
The inside has an industrial feel. It has exposed pipes and beams, but also uses reclaimed wood and local art to tie the space together.
The offices are all open concept; many of the work stations are brightly-colored cubicles in an open room that the various businesses use communally. The space features a bar, showers, an outdoor deck with a grill, a game and nap room and even a kegerator. A yoga instructor is even brought in a few times a week for the employees.
“You really have to build your culture as a business the right way to attract new employees,” said Michael Trede, a managing partner of Innovative Business Solutions.
Trede’s company is a telecom broker that helps businesses understand what Internet options are available and affordable for them.
“It was just me. I was a one-man show and I left a telecom company in Denver and decided I wanted to go out on my own and figure out how to be an entrepreneur and grow a telecom business,” Trede said.
He grew up in Colorado and was naturally drawn to Castle Rock as a good place to start a family and a business. He now has 22 employees and works in The Move.
The building has not only allowed his business to expand, but also to collaborate with other small tech companies like Ibex Digital. It works with telecommunications and cable brands to come up with digital marketing strategies.
Its founder, Jeff Cox, is a California native who came to Colorado chasing a corporate job before deciding to venture out on his own. He, too, fell in love with both the small-town feel and the potential that Castle Rock has to offer.
“The challenge of Silicon Valley is California is just expensive, labor expenses, cost-of-living. It’s hard for people to live and work in the communities that they want to live in and so Castle Rock was a perfect fit for that,” Cox said.
Like many tech businesses, Cox’s company started small. But, after several years of hard work, Ibex Digital started getting off the ground.
“We had a small office space next to the B & B Café on Wilcox and we loved the atmosphere and the environment, but as a business we outgrew the space and we were forced to kind of look north,” Cox said.
That’s when the Castle Rock town council and the Downtown Development Alliance approached his company with the idea of creating a new building. Cox helped spearhead the project.
“It’s kind of a tipping point for the community which attracted companies that were working out of their house in Park Meadows or in Denver and didn’t want to meet here,” Cox said.
The Downtown Development Alliance says the building has been good for the local economy and it’s hoping more companies will consider Castle Rock for their operations. They say part of the appeal is that the town is right off of I-25 and situated right in between Denver and Colorado Springs, perfect for attracting the top talent from both cities.
“It’s a very modern, tech-oriented office space and it’s a great thing for our downtown. These are high-paying jobs and that supports another restaurant, another place to get coffee, another great place to shop in downtown Castle Rock,” Tilson said
Both Trede and Cox say the town’s personalized touch for accommodating and fostering small businesses will drive its success.
“It won’t be the Silicon Valley that is California, it will be different than that, but I think it will be prosperous,” Cox said. “We are growing and the companies around us are growing.”
“When people think about tech, they do think bigger like Silicon Valley. But, there are thousands of tech companies out there and we are looking for the right kind of space and the right kind of environment to grow our businesses. I think Castle Rock and what we’re doing with the DDA and the town council has been very receptive to the things business owners want,” Trede said.