The original BEAHIVE opened in May 2009 in the heart of Beacon’s Main Street in the artisan-renovated 1907 Telephone Building. My aim has been to create a platform for work and community engagement. With local partners we’ve extended that platform to other communities over the years, swarming hives in Albany, Kingston and Peekskill.
And now, after years of requests and off-and-on exploration and actual planning, we’ve found a home to expand BEAHIVE in Newburgh!
I see similar energy and potential percolating in Newburgh that we’ve experienced in Beacon over the years. Helping catalyze that energy was one reason I decided to take a risk on what was a new-fangled idea 10 years ago. I hope to do the same in Newburgh.
Swarming the Wireworks
Our home: the forthcoming Wireworks building at 109 S. William St., an ambitious, multimillion dollar rehab of a former spring factory that sat empty for years. BEAHIVE will be sandwiched between a cafe on the lower level and apartments above, an ideal mission-aligned project that will bring traffic and energy and have a positive impact in the city.
As Newburgh city manager Joe Donat said recently, the “investment will be very substantial and, perhaps, a game-changer for that area of South William Street.”
We’re across the street from Atlas Studios, and I’m excited to be a part of the ecosystem they’ve been leading for a number of years now. (We had Thomas Wright on the TEDxLongDock stage in 2013 talking about the plans to make Atlas a creative hub.)
Our developer partner is BOM Newburgh, a complementary team that includes Baxter, a premier Hudson Valley real estate developer and general contractor; Mapos, an award-winning NYC architecture and design firm; and Sisha Ortuzar, an award-winning NYC restauranteur and hospitality advisor who lives in Newburgh.
More than coworking
My vision for BEAHIVE from the beginning was only partly inspired by the coworking movement. Many of the events and forums we do have nothing to do with work, but they have everything to do with a vibrant community. The larger aim is to inspire and facilitate new thinking and action to address community issues and economic development that meets the needs of all of us.
I’m proud of how that vision has manifested over the past 10 years. We’ve engaged thousands of Hudson Valley denizens and dozens of community groups and nonprofits through membership, events and programs. We’ve leveraged the energy and skills and perspectives of our members and nonmembers alike while driving foot traffic and energy to contribute to community vibrancy and the local economy.
We expect to bring the bzzz to Newburgh in mid-2020.