Eagle resident creates a stunning modern flex office space out of an individual need.
EM recently met with Kevin Hogle, the owner of the flex office space, The Harper Building in Garden City, Idaho. Located on State Street near Eagle in a brick facade two story building, with sidewalk conjoining businesses, giving it a city vibe.
When approaching the-floor-to-ceiling window entrance, you’ll see a picturesque view of interior design. Earth tone shades of green, yellows, and blues permeate the space evoking a calm meditative state to allow focus.
We asked Kevin what inspired him to create The Harper Building:
Kevin: My wife and I own and operate our businesses here in Eagle. When starting them, keeping the overhead low was essential. We have been through all the different phases of owning a business, and I was inspired to create a place where budding businesses could thrive with a low lease rate.
A business has changing needs from the time it starts to its potential growth phase. Keeping costs low is essential in the startup phase – this is one of the reasons we created a flex office space. To keep costs low, we have individually permitted mailboxes that cut out the cost of a PO Box, where prices have been rising. Google no longer recognizes the post office boxes as businesses – our mailboxes can be used to generate your Google Listing.
EM: What’s behind the name?
Kevin: Harper is my 8-year-old daughter. You can’t imagine how much an 8-year-old loves seeing her name on the side of our office. She wants to run what she’s calling the “Harper Café” this summer, which is really just the kitchen at the office. We’ll see.
EM: How does this space differ besides the Google-friendly mailboxes?
Kevin: I designed the building thinking like a business owner that was actually going to use the space (because I was going to use, and am using, the space), rather than an outside investor seeking only to maximize profits and minimize costs. For example, I wanted soundproof walls in our offices—I was tired of listening to my office neighbor’s phone conversations. I wanted a modern and inviting aesthetical design, with beautiful glass walls and high-end furnishings and fixtures. I wanted to be proud telling clients that this was my office. I wanted our offices to be close to Eagle—I didn’t want to commute to downtown Boise or Meridian anymore. I wanted to have privacy when I wanted to work, but also the ability to collaborate or chat with others when I felt like it—productivity plus comradery. I wanted to create an office vibe that made me actually want to go into the office instead of dreading it. Ultimately, all of those things inspired me to build the Harper Building the way that I did.
EM: What are some of the options:
Kevin: You can simply start with a mailbox and work virtually with a physical business address. Upgrade to a dedicated desk, with the use of a private phone booths and conference room. Eventually, as budget allows from your growing business, you can move into a private office and rent desks for additional employees. It’s truly a flexible environment.
EM: How many offices and open space desks?
Kevin: We have 7 private offices, 11 dedicated desks with locking storage, 2 conference rooms, 80 mailboxes, and room for plenty more desks if we wanted to add them. I’d like to keep the space as-is though, as I think the configuration and size are perfectly aligned with our vision.
EM: What are the amenities?
Kevin: Perhaps the most valuable amenity we offer is the free use of the conference rooms for our members, instead of tracking their time and charging for it. We also have phone booths for private phone or video calls, a full suite of podcasting equipment, a Vibe digital whiteboard that allows remote collaboration, TVs in every office and conference room for client presentations or to personalize the branding for your office by displaying your logo, and even a large format professional printer for architects, contractors, or artists. As the space fills up, we’ll be adding a la carte administrative support, with the idea being that businesses can split costs instead of having to hire someone full time. Our kitchen is always fully stocked with drinks and snacks, including a fancy espresso machine that I’m now an expert in operating. I love making everyone lattes.
EM: What’s the takeaway?
Kevin: There really is no place around like the Harper Building—it truly is unique. But it’s not just a beautiful office space, it’s also an ecosystem of small businesses that can grow and thrive based off of synergistic relationships with one another. Perhaps the best part about it all is that we’re more affordable than our competitors and we offer month-to-month memberships, so no long-term leases are required. We really do have it all here.