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Area 34 offering coworking spaces

By Ben Calwell, Metro Reporter
BEN CALWELL | Putnam Review
Ashley Alford, new president of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, stands in one of Area 34’s coworking spaces. The coworking spaces are available via monthly membership fees or via day passes. Conference rooms and private “work pods” are also available.
The Area 34 lobby and lounge area is part of the facility’s coworking space. Monthly coworking memberships include up to 40 complimentary hours of private work pod and conference room reservations montly.
Ashley Alford in one of Area 34’s private work rooms. A small work “pod” seats four, while a large work pod seats six. They are available via day passes or monthly coworking membership fees.
Conference rooms at Area 34 are also part of the facility’s coworking space. A small conference room seats 20, and a large one seats 30.

Area 34, the new headquarters of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and the Putnam County Convention & Visitors Bureau, is touting its coworking space as a convenient, state-of-the-art venue for business startups, individuals, home-based businesses and others who need a professional working environment.

Area 34 opened last fall at 971 W.Va. 34, Hurricane. It is near the Winfield exit of Interstate 64 and across the highway from the main Putnam County Public Library.

“It’s all new offices, plus the coworking space,” said Ashley Alford, the new president of the Putnam County Chamber.

“The idea behind the coworking space is to give start-ups, entrepreneurs and home-based businesses a professional setting to be able to grow their business,” Alford said.

It’s a good option for entrepreneurs starting out who might not have the resources to lease office space.

“If you’re brand new and getting your feet on the ground, you can’t really afford to go into a full lease for office space, or, you might not even need a full office space, but you do need a place to meet with potential clients or customers,” she said.

The Area 34 coworking space is available for a monthly fee, or, they are available via a day pass. Those who pay a monthly membership fee have access to all the shared spaces at Area 34. The spaces include a comfortable lobby area, coworking room and large and small conference rooms.

“You can pay a membership fee, which is very low, and be able to use this space as your office. It keeps the overhead down for you when you’re starting a new business.”

Members can also earn credit hours per month to reserve a private work space, or a “work pod,” at Area 34.

“If you need a private office for the day, you just redeem credit hours. If you need an office for an hour just to meet with a client, you just redeem the credit hours,” she said.

Also included are printing and faxing services, “and you can use this as an address, if you need mail service. We have additional mailboxes that we can give you. You can use it as your physical location and your mailing address.”

The Area 34 coworking membership rates are $200 a month for an individual or single-person business. Corporate coworking memberships are $400 a month, “and that includes three employees,” Alford said.

A coworking day pass is $20. Area 34’s large and small conference rooms are also available at day rates of $35 (small room) and $50 (large room). A small work pod that seats four is available for $20 a day, and a large work pod that seats six is also available for $20 a day.

Area 34 coworking members get key fobs to the building so that they can use the space anytime they want.

Those whose jobs are home-based can also benefit from using the Area 34 coworking space.

“You can have this as a place to meet your customers, so that you don’t have to meet them in a noisy restaurant. You can come here and have private space or shared space,” Alford said.

Alford said coworking spaces are becoming popular in larger cities, because they give those who work from home a place where they can make business contacts with others.

“It gives you a professional place to go and work, but it also gives you an opportunity to network with other people are using the space. It’s a good opportunity to meet and interact with people.”

Working from home can also have its own set of distractions, such as barking dogs, noisy neighbors and background noise.

“They can come here and get a little bit of peace and quiet.”

For more information about the Area 34 coworking space, call 304-757-6510, or visit www.area34coworking.com. The website features virtual tours of the building and spaces.


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