Temescal Works

Who We Are

If you live in Temescal, or have spent time in the neighborhood, you may have noticed the distinctive but neglected brick-and-timber warehouse near the corner of 43rd Street and Telegraph Avenue.

Over the years, it caught our attention, too.

We’re a group of Temescal residents with deep roots in the neighborhood. We own homes here. We’ve raised kids (and dogs and cats) here. A number of us work here.

We couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Like a lot of people in the area, we’ve watched Temescal evolve. New bars and restaurants. New shops. New neighbors.

What never seemed to change, though, was that worn out-looking warehouse with the beautiful bones. Built in 1924 as the Miller Bros. Creamery, it had long since been abandoned. For most of the time we’d known it, it just sat there forlornly, dormant and dilapidated, its insides a moldering warren of jerry-rigged rooms, its exterior peeling and pocked with broken windows. The only fresh paint it got was graffiti.

One year, at our annual 43rd Street block party, a bunch of us got to talking. What if we pooled our resources to buy the blighted building and bring it back to life?

As Shaggy used to say to Scooby-Doo (or was it Gilligan to the Skipper?), it seemed like a plan so crazy, it just might work.

So that’s what we did.

No doubt, all of us hoped to do better than break even. But as much as buying the building was a financial investment, it was also an investment in the neighborhood—a chance to make a better place of the place where we all live.

Exactly what we would do with the warehouse, we weren’t sure.

But at the very least, we figured, we could make it look better. A whole lot better.

Only after more than a year of restorations—gutting the interior, replacing the leaky roof, bringing the buiding up to today’s tough fire/life safety and seismic standards, adding skylights, and more—did our plans for the building begin taking shape.

We decided we would turn it into a coworking space.

Not another corporate operation of the kind cropping up around the Bay Area.

A coworking space suited to Temescal, with all the modern amenities that such businesses require but with a local purpose and personality. It would cater to our neighborhood, of course, but also to anyone in surrounding areas—from Mosswood to Piedmont, from Longfellow to Fairway Park, and of course, from Temescal to Rockridge—working for themselves or working remotely who might need flexible, beautiful, convenient office space.

As with a lot bright ideas, there was a lot more to this one than we first imagined. We expected complications and cost overruns. We got even more of those than we could have  possibly foreseen.

The experience has been . . .how should we put this? . . .enlightening.

At long last, after construction delays and permitting snags and a zillion other hiccups and hurdles, we’re getting ready to swing open the doors on Temescal Works. Our opening date, though not quite yet set in stone, is fast-approaching, only weeks away.

Over the past month, we’ve given tours of the space to dozens of people. The response has been overwhelmingly positive (once you see the place, we think it’s hard not to have that reaction) Visitors love the building. They also seem to like our story.

Along with their enthusiasm for what we’re doing, many have shared their comments and suggestions–invaluable feedback that we’re taking wholeheartedly into account.

Like Temescal itself, Temescal Works is sure to evolve, adapting to the needs and interests of the people who fill it. But here are a few things that will be a constant: locally roasted coffee, fast Internet, friendly people, and a cool space where you can get your work done. We think it’s destined to be an inviting and dynamic place to work.

We’ll use blog posts to keep you updated on news and views– about Temescal Works in particular, and about coworking in general. Now and then, we’ll try to throw in a decent joke or two.

So feel free to check this space from time to time. And if you’d like to get a sneak-peek of the space itself, contact us and we’ll make it happen.

Once we’re open, please don’t hesitate to come by and introduce yourself.

The Neighborhood

We feel pretty lucky to be starting a coworking space in Temescal. The neighborhood has become a leader in the Oakland renaissance through its eclectic eateries, craft breweries, and thriving arts scene. It even has its own tool lending library — one of the few in the country.

We’re blocks from the MacArthur BART station, steps from AC transit, and minutes from Highway 24 if you are coming by car. And with indoor bike-racks and onsite bike parking, there’s no shortage of options for your commute. Within walking distance are dozens of cafés, shops, bars and restaurants that have made Temescal one of the most vibrant districts in Oakland.

The Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District (TTBID) is a fantastic resource for all things Temescal. Check them out at at temescaldistrict.org. We’re also thrilled to have the TTBID as one of our founding members at Temescal Works.