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Elissa Chudwin, Editor August 16, 2016
After the former tenants of a downtown Lockport office space relocated, property owner Doug Gaffney decided to make its rehabilitation his latest project.
Gaffney — a full-time digital commerce specialist for IBM — spent six months transforming the space into seven offices geared toward people who work remotely. Lockport Loft, 1000 S. Hamilton St., now has five tenants that range from a 3-D printing company to a legal firm.
“Doing this isn’t related to what I do as a full-time job,” he said. “To me, it’s kind of fun.”
For Gaffney, working from home often proved difficult with so many distractions, especially if his children were home from school during the summer. He said he decided to rent office spaces so people who work remotely have the opportunity to work in a professional setting.
“I just want people to get some use out of it and enjoy the space,” Gaffney said.
Gaffney also refurbished the offices himself — a process that he found gratifying and challenging.
He spent several nights and weekends upgrading the space and completed all the renovations — excluding the drywall, plumbing and electricity — by hand.
Gaffney said the process was one of trial-and-error, particularly when he was removing drywall from a closet and hit a water line.
“It was spraying all over the place,” he said.
Despite the mishaps, Gaffney is happy his efforts have not gone unnoticed, he said. People have seemed interested with the concept and are enthusiastic that it promotes a community-oriented environment.
“As they do get to know each other, they can create a bond in the office,” he said.
Lockport Loft also serves another purpose, he said. Its opening coincides with the City of Lockport’s downtown revitalization efforts, and Gaffney said he believes new business downtown always is beneficial.
“It’s good for the community,” he said.