WATERVILLE — A forum held Monday at the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce explored the possibility of establishing office space in Waterville for a mix of individuals and entrepreneurs.

The concept – called a co-location workplace – allows people who might otherwise be working from home the amenities of an office. Benefits could include high-speed Internet, a quiet environment, conference space and a place to meet clients – as well as the chance to socialize and collaborate with others.

Attendees at the forum included Waterville city officials, leaders of local colleges, and real estate developers and legislators, including Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond, D-Portland.

“Creativity and innovation are the hallmarks of the kind of change people want to see in Waterville right now,” said Nate Rudy, executive director of Waterville Creates!, a nonprofit group that has focused on collaborative relationships among the city’s arts groups.

“I think the great things about a project like this is that it provides just that,” Rudy said. “I think the time is right now.”

Rudy helped spearhead a similar project in Gardiner, Co-Lab, three years ago when he was economic and community development director of that city. He left that job for Waterville Creates! in December.

The proposal comes amid other statewide efforts, said Alfond, who is sponsoring a measure that would provide state funding for co-location workplaces. The bill, L.R. 812, “An Act to Attract Young Entrepreneurs to the State,” would provide grants of up to $25,000 for the creation of co-location workplaces, Alfond said. The money would come from a $250,000 pool within the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Leaders met Monday with Patrick Roche, the founder and director of Think Tank Coworking, a Portland-based co-working facility with locations in Portland and Yarmouth. Roche said he’d like to expand to Waterville.

“Workplaces like this are kind of developing out of necessity because of the way people are working,” Roche said. “The remote workforce, the untethered workforce, is on the rise. More people are being cut loose from their parent companies and they’re being asked to work from home. … but that doesn’t always work for people, so they’re looking for these co-working facilities, shared office spaces to satisfy their social and professional needs.”

Roche started Think Tank in 2010, and the company now has about 200 members at its two locations, he said. There are different types of memberships, including “floating memberships,” in which members can drop in and use the space, or they can pay extra for a designated desk or private office.

“These co-working spaces ultimately become catalysts for the revitalization of downtown districts,” Roche said. “You are very quickly populating your downtown with talented people who are investing in the community, who are buying coffee and shopping at local boutiques.”

Several members of the Waterville community said they liked the idea.

“This is something that can really ignite the creative community here,” said Rob Baldacci, a broker for the Baldacci Real Estate Group.