Joseph Holmes grips the smoothing plane, pushing it back and forth along the plank of wood.

Nearby, his father, Roger, handles a mortising machine inside the workshop the Holmes share.

Two years ago, it would have been difficult for father and son to get much done together in the garage they shared for woodworking projects.

"It allows me to do more than one job at a time," said Roger Holmes of his 3,000-square-foot workshop at Turbine Flats.

He is one of the two newer tenants at the Turbine Flats Project, a center for small and start-up businesses at 2124 Y St. The other new tenant is attorney Clinton Collins, who opened his office Oct. 1.

Matthew Wegener, president and CEO of ISoft Data Systems, and his wife, Donna Gould, founded Turbine Flats, which is both the name of the building and a nonprofit they created.

Wegener said the building's renovated space is nearly filled, with just 630 square feet still available. He said he's working to get 16,000 more square feet renovated, including adding a second floor to a warehouse space.

Those plans would create 10 additional offices, a small conference room/theater, a workout facility, locker rooms and about 6,000 square feet of space that Wegener is working with nonprofit groups to fill.

Turbine Flats' mission is to create a self-sustaining, collaborative community for small and start-up businesses and reduce "brain drain" from Lincoln.

It's an affordable space for entrepreneurs who want to share ideas and services, Wegener said.

"It's an idea community, and it really is a community," he said.

Turbine Flats is not an incubator, he said. "You can get out of it what you put into it."

Clinton Collins said he already has gotten a lot out of being a tenant at Turbine Flats. Just starting out as an attorney, he said, he appreciates both the logistical and professional support he gets from the other businesses at Turbine Flats.

"It's got character," he said of the building. "It's affordable. It's really a good community."

Reach Kevin Abourezk at 473-7225 or