Venture X Holyoke opens near Holyoke Mall


HOLYOKE – Every day in the city’s brand new coworking space, Venture X Holyoke, counselors and physiotherapists meet with patients, advertising and marketing specialists serve customers, and entrepreneurs save money on desks while growing their business.

The scene is exactly what the Venture X owner envisioned when he opened the two-story coworking space earlier this month, not far from Holyoke Mall at 98 Lower Westfield Road.

“Right off the freeway here you have people who don’t have to sign” expensive long-term office leases, “said fourth-generation owner Ned Barowsky, a commercial real estate developer and Holyoker. “You would be shocked at how busy the place can get and how people are networking. “

The 16,000 square foot space includes 65 private furnished offices for one to 10 people. Members have access to a receptionist, conference rooms, computer security, mailboxes, copy center, shredding service, lounge and cafe for workers, and various services. ‘other amenities.

Podcast production studios are available, complete with microphones and other equipment, to rent by the hour. Parking is free for members and has approximately 300 spaces.

Venture X Holyoke hosted a soft opening in the spring and a grand opening earlier this month.

The space was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with special attention given to the installation of an air filtration system. Barowsky, owner of Venture X Holyoke and the building it occupies, said the high-tech system uses seven rooftop units that leave the air “almost pure”.

The bathrooms use touchless toilets, sinks and hand dryers. Keyless and app-based door entry systems are used to enter Venture X Holyoke and then for each office.

Common telephone rooms and conference rooms are cleaned after each use; the location uses disposable coffee cups and water bottles, and seating in common areas is arranged to allow for social distancing. The shared offices are segmented by plexiglass dividers.

Barowsky said that after Pier 1 Imports, Kaoud Oriental Rugs and Mattress Firm all left the space, its real estate brokers began to seek new retail clients. He said they were already going “nowhere” when the economy collapsed due to the pandemic.

“When COVID hit a year and a half ago, I said, ‘That’s it. These guys won’t find anyone now, ”he said. “I started to look at different aspects of what I could do and coworking kept popping up. ”

A private office space starts at $ 595 per month, while a shared office starts at $ 249 per month. A meeting room for four people is rented for $ 40 per hour; a 20-person meeting room costs $ 90 per hour.

The campaign of William “Billy” Glidden, one of seven mayoral candidates who ran in Tuesday’s preliminary election, leases office space from Venture X. In August, the campaign spent $ 3,071.75 on deposit. guarantee and four months rent, according to the state campaign. financial records.

Currently, the space is approximately 30% occupied. Membership includes therapists, a health and beauty salon, two marketing companies, a physiotherapy practice and more public companies.

The space has hosted several corporate events and retreats. On September 21, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield hosted their Leadership Luncheon at a Venture X Holyoke boardroom.

Venture X Holyoke is running a promotion – 50% off the regular membership price for commitments of at least three months – as it tries to fill the remaining space. Promotion ends December 31 or after 50 new members register, whichever comes first.

Some of the members, Barowsky said, are people who started working from home during the pandemic and found it too difficult, so they paid out of pocket to rent one person office space. Virtual offices are also available, which allow members who work from home to receive business mail at Venture X Holyoke and rent conference and meeting rooms on a short-term basis.

“It’s a contribution to the city,” Barowsky said. “They’re trying to rehabilitate all those old factory buildings downtown… but there was nothing here in the Ingleside area. No one offers all of the amenities that we have to offer.

According to Venture X, the members of the global business include entrepreneurs, creative professionals, freelancers, remote workers, startups, nonprofits, small businesses and Fortune 500 business teams. .

Venture X has operations in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, with more planned in Europe and Central America. A second Massachusetts site is opened in Marlborough.

Brian Steele can be reached at [email protected]

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