LEWISTON — Carl Sheline and Cecelia Moody are co-developing Munka (pronounced Moonka), the Twin Cities’ first co-working space, in a former campaign office on Lisbon Street.

They envision a spot for people to get work done, collaborate and foster startups — like Munka.

“I think the real magic comes from the talents and the skills of the members when they’re put together,” Moody said. “We don’t know where that will go from there. It’s an exciting process.”

Sheline said the first-floor space at 215 Lisbon St. will accommodate at least 25 people in a mix of private offices, private desks and open seating in a modern, Scandinavian-style setting. Munka will offer a shared kitchen space and break room, lounge and Wi-Fi. Membership will start at between $100 and $125 a month. 

Some details are still being worked on, but he hopes to offer 24/7 access.

They’re shooting for a late 2015/early 2016 opening. Sheline, who is half Hungarian, said Munka is the Hungarian noun for “work.”


He and his wife, Dr. Rose Sheline, own and operate Center Street Dental in Auburn. 

“I’d wanted to do a co-work space for a while,” he said. “When we purchased this building, (it) was a good fit for that because of the location. This space is going to be a lot of things to a lot of different people.”

Some members may be professionals who travel to Lewiston-Auburn for work — lawyers, real estate agents — and need a flexible space to set up. Some may be people looking to move outside their home offices and enjoy the camaraderie of working among others. Members may brainstorm and collaborate. 

“Somebody could use it as an office and be there pretty much every day all day,” Sheline said. “Some people could be working at their jobs from 9 to 5 and then working on starting a business so they’re there only in the evenings and on weekends.”

They plan to offer events and startup programming in the space.

The advantage of Munka over other free Wi-Fi spots such as the library or Starbucks, Sheline said, is that everyone coming to Munka is there to work.


“What both of those places are missing is community,” he said. “As soon as you start to add other people, people are going to make friends and this is going to impact their business in a positive way.”

Sheline and Moody announced plans for Munka last week at the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council’s “Create” event.

“Literally, since almost the first week I was here, different people in the community have approached me about, ‘Let’s do a co-working space,'” said LAEGC President John Holden. “There’s very successful ones all over the country and in Maine. My point has been someone has to bite the bullet and do this.”

Lisbon Street is a good location for it, he said.

“I propose we become a creative city. That means encouraging creativity and entrepreneurship from a business side. This gives us someplace to do that,” Holden said. “Munka is in itself an entrepreneurial effort. It is what it wants to help do. They’re going to experiment and try things and learn as they move along.”


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