#DowntownWorks For Upside Collective

June 23, 2021

With a need for more space, the design and marketing firm Upside Collective started looking to relocate within the Region from its old home and the company had to cast a wide net before settling on its current location at 80 State St. in downtown Albany.

“We looked all over the place within reason,” said Upside Collective President Brendan Casey. “Office parks, downtowns, multiple counties. This was the first space we looked at, and it ended up being the one we went with. It’s very conducive to team work, and there’s an energy you just don’t get in the suburbs.”

Upside’s old space was spread out over two floors, which meant some employees could go weeks without actually interacting (back in the pre-pandemic times, that is), Casey said. Getting all 26 employees on one floor was a priority, but other selling points included proximity to the train station across the Hudson in Rensselaer County and the fact that so many amenities – from dry cleaning to restaurants to the seasonal farmer’s markets were within walking distance.

The not-so-new Upside location is about 7,000 square feet, including a video and audio recording studio – more than enough for employees to be able to stay a safe distance apart during the height of the pandemic. But Casey said the firm eased into bringing staffers back, bringing small groups into the office on a rotating basis.

“Some people were more comfortable staying home, and some wanted to get out of the house,” Casey said. “I couldn’t get back to work fast enough. But we haven’t yet mandated a return. We’re taking it step by step, letting people come back at their own pace and hopefully that will continue to accelerate.”

Casey said he personally returned to the office as soon as the governor announced that nonessential businesses could re-open on a limited basis last June. At first, he recalled, downtown was very quiet, but things slowly started to pick back up.

“I see it turning,” he said. “I’m really hopeful that will continue with vaccinations continuing and people gaining confidence, and the weather, which has a positive impact on people’s psyche. They feel good and they want to get back – at least to a hybrid model.”

“As the city goes, so goes the region. You can’t have the suburbs without the urban core. If that goes by the wayside, the overall quality of life goes way down. People like that they can take a five-minute drive, go to The Palace for a show with dinner beforehand and drinks after and then be home by 11.”


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About #DowntownWorks

Downtown’s offices have in part operated remotely over the past several months and downtown Albany is eager to welcome the business community fully back when the timing is right.

National, and local trends signal the trajectory for progress and success downtown hasn’t slowed — businesses have adapted, and key strategic investments are taking shape. Now is the time to experience for yourself or remind yourself, why downtown works — why start-ups, Fortune 100 and world renowned international companies are containing to invest and grow in downtown Albany, and why downtown Albany has proven successful for your organization.
The many companies occupying downtown Albany offices, and their talent, are innovative and resilient. As more return to the office, Capitalize Albany Corporation and the Downtown Albany BID are gathering insights from industry experts to support office occupiers in making informed decisions. And in speaking with local businesses we’re also learning more about upcoming plans and opportunities, remote-work balance strategies, and of course — why downtown works.  

Learn more and share your stories at #DowntownWorks on social media, visit #DowntownWorks on CapitalizeAlbany.com, and www.DowntownAlbany.org/DowntownWorks.