(Albany, NY) BEAHIVE, a new kind of collaborative space for work and community in downtown Albany, has officially announced it’s grand opening. Tracy Metzger, a leading commercial real estate broker in Albany, transformed part of her building, located at 418 Broadway in downtown Albany, into the region’s first coworking facility serving entrepreneurs, consultants and collaborators.
Coworking is the growing worldwide movement in collaboration where people work in a shared space, alone and together. Common to larger metropolitan areas such as New York City, Silicon Valley and Austin, BEAHIVE is indicative of the increasing need for independent workers and start-up companies to have access to an affordable professional office environment to conduct and grow their businesses. Members of BEAHIVE can rent a desk by the day, week, or month and become a part of BEAHIVE community.
In celebration of the grand opening of Albany BEAHIVE an open house and networking event is scheduled for March 28, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. During that time BEAHIVE will be opening it’s doors to business professionals to network and tour the new coworking facility. More information about the event can be found on LinkedIn.
“A friend shared an article about a new concept in work space and it mentioned BEAHIVEs located in Beacon and Kingston,” recalled Metzger. Metzger, an entrepreneur who has lived in the Capital Region for many years owns property where BEAHIVE is located. She said, “I loved the idea of an open work environment where the intent is to meet new people, share ideas and build a new community. I already owned the space which was a former nightclub. It had a bar and fantastic lighting and I thought it would be the perfect place for this type of independent and interactive working community.”
Metzger spoke with the founder of the Hudson Valley coworking brand, Scott Tillitt, to learn about his concept. “We’re more than a shared office space, more than desks and wi-fi and printers,” said Tillitt. “We’re building a community of members from diverse backgrounds with a range of creative and technical talents and a desire to improve our professional and personal lives and our communities.”
BEAHIVE’s collaborative work space brand has been welcomed by city leaders who recognize the importance of serving the needs of professionals who can help improve the economy. Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings said: “I believe BEAHIVE will play a critical role in fostering growth in Albany’s diverse business environment. With more and more professionals securing independent employment, it is important to provide them with suitable resources and high quality office space to meet this growing demand. I am confident BEAHIVE will provide the opportunity for workers to be more productive, contributing to our region’s economy and accomplishing their goals.”
The excitement surrounding the opening of Albany BEAHIVE has already started to create buzz among local business leaders. So far, the coworking facility attracted eleven founding members including Amanda Kelly, owner and career consultant with Success On Deck, a consulting firm offering clients career transition services and job search coaching. Kelly said, “Becoming a member of BEAHIVE has provided me a professional work space to conduct my business. The membership flexibility allows me to pay for the amount of time I use each month and it’s a great place to network.”
Capital Region business leaders taking notice of BEAHIVE include F. Michael Tucker, CEO and president of the Center for Economic Growth. Tucker said, “It’s important to our upstate economy to accommodate the needs of entrepreneurs and businesses, who are interested in relocating to the area, with the kind of flexible office space offered at Albany BEAHIVE.”
Mark Eagan, president and CEO of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce agrees. Eagan said, “We understand the need for start-up companies to be cautious with their expenses, especially if they are in a pre-revenue stage.” The Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Entrepreneur Boot Camp program that covers all the essential ingredients to starting a business. “The flexibility of BEAHIVE can also provide entrepreneurs a working environment that can serve as a bridge to a permanent office space,” said Eagan.
In addition to providing individual work areas, BEAHIVE is a venue for members to hold community networking events and meetings. BEAHIVE has already held events for Capital Region business and community groups and more will be scheduled in the near future.