WATERVILLE — If there’s a better place to start a business than across from a brewery, RJ Anzelc can’t think of one.

Anzelc, founder of the Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space, soon will launch the city’s next creative space for startup companies and entrepreneurs on the first floor of the Hathaway Creative Center. The space, which took Anzelc five months to nail down, will open in early June for all interested, with fees ranging from a $30 day pass to $290 for a dedicated desk to a $490-per-month fee for a private office.

Anzelc said he decided on the Hathaway Center and Waterville in general because he’s a software developer born and raised in the city. While the space is awaiting furniture, Anzelc said the room would be fully operational in about two weeks. He said he looked at a number of places in the city, and the draw of the Hathaway Center was compelling because of its history and desirable location. Anzelc, who formerly worked for Collaborative Consulting before it was acquired by CGI, now works remotely for a Boston-based company.

“It’s a perfect time to introduce this,” Anzelc said while walking the space Wednesday afternoon.

The new space will have over 20 working stations, three private offices, a conference room, access to standard office resources such as high-speed internet and printing and scanning, as well as off-site officials who can connect members with technical assistance and business development, according to a news release. The release goes on to state that the space has a lounge and kitchenette with high-top tables and appliances. The entire space also has original floors, 16-foot high ceilings and exposed brick walls.

Garvan Donegan, an economic development specialist for the Central Maine Growth Council, a public-private collaborative group based in Waterville, said in addition to the three private offices, there would be a “Starbucks style” setup for a common working area. He said the space would be flexible, comfortable and convenient.


Donegan said tenants would have access to resources for development, such as the nearby colleges and technical assistance to develop an idea.

“It’s more than a coworking space. It’s an innovation lab,” Donegan said.

The space now is used for Central Maine Tech Nights, which are monthly events hosted by the Central Maine Growth Council. Donegan said the space will continue to be used for those events, as it will be a hub for technology. Donegan said he can imagine the space being used for more technology events, such as tech talks and pitches.

“There will be a ton of cool technology in here,” Donegan said.

The Hathaway Center has become desired real estate over the past year. In addition to having high-end apartments on the upper floors, the building also is home to an antiques shop and to Waterville Brewing Co., the city’s first microbrewery since Downeast Cider called the mill home during its hard cider brewing infancy in 2012, when it sold hard cider to local bars such as 18 Below Raw Bar, Mainely Brews and You Know Whose Pub. Today Downeast Cider is in a sprawling facility in East Boston.

Anzelc said having the brewery right across from the new innovation space was a huge draw for them, and he imagines it will be a draw for those interested in leasing space.


Anzelc said he imagines the space will have around 80 percent or 90 percent occupancy, with the three private offices likely to fill up fast. The rest of the space probably will have more tenants coming and going, and he hopes to support growing businesses enough so they eventually can leave the space and open up their own location in the city.

“It’s like a launch pad,” Donegan said.

Anzelc said there has been great interest in the space, and several tours have been given.

In the past year, Donegan said, he has fielded at least a phone call a week from people looking for exactly that type of space.

“The market demand is here,” he said.

The new space will be a business attraction for downtown development, Donegan said, calling it “startup mode central.”


“We are absolutely thrilled,” he said.

This is not the only entrepreneurial space launched in the city recently. Colby College announced earlier this year the launch of a student space in the former Hains building on Main Street, where a group of students are operating a business known as EuroPiste, which sells outdoor gear to professionals.

Before its June 4 grand opening, Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space plans to hold an open house from 3:30 to 8 p.m. May 18.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253


Twitter: @colinoellis

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