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Greenspace CoWork to strive for synergy

  • Sasha Rivera of Shutesbury works on her laptop with a view of the Town Common on the third floor of the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. Sadie Miller of Greenfield works in the background on her business True Impact LLC. January 30, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

  • Jeremy Goldsher and Jeff Sauser, co-founders of the Greenspace CoWork on the third floor of the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield, talk with prospective member Ethan Haslett. January 30, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

  • The kitchen area of the Greenspace CoWork on the third floor of the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. January 30, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

  • Jeremy Goldsher and Jeff Sauser, co-founders of the Greenspace CoWork on the third floor of the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield, talk in the kitchen area members can use. January 30, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

  • Ethan Haslett uses one of the many work station at the Greenspace CoWork on the third floor of the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. January 30, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

GREENFIELD — The city’s newest coworking space is set to open on an upper floor of the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center this week, featuring a flexible, collaborative workspace with an industrial feel.

Greenspace CoWork, on the building’s third floor, will open to the public Thursday. The space has been in development for a year and a half, and provides a collaborative environment for members, offering everything from a kitchenette with free coffee to WiFi and printer access.

“We’re open to the entire public — lawyers to artists to students to stay-at-home dads — the whole gamut,” co-founder Jeremy Goldsher said.

The space is currently in the first phase of development, with half of the third floor converted into a flexible coworking area with tables, couches and a kitchenette. Goldsher and his business partner Jeff Sauser have received a $100,000 collaborative Workspace Program grant from MassDevelopment that will be used to fund the second phase of work.

That phase will include a conference room, private office pods and soundproof phone booths, and is expected to be completed by this summer.

“We’re really excited to just see where the space is going to go, what the community members want. They talk to us every single day,” Goldsher said. “They let us know where the holes are and we’re able to fill them up really quickly. It’s been a wonderful process just in its early phase.”

The current space features flexible seating arrangements, including couches, tables suitable for sitting or standing and a long bar with stools. Live plants are spread throughout the room, and a hexagonal shelf in the center pays homage to the late Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth of the Second Congregational Church next door. Langstroth is considered to be the father of modern beekeeping.

Goldsher said the goal was to create a dynamic space that can be adapted to host larger gatherings or events.

“A lot of it had to do with really what a green space is — taking a piece of underutilized land, or in our case, office floor, and preserving what’s already there and then opening it up to the community,” he said, adding the building’s 170-year-old wood floor has been preserved, as well as its brick walls. “We wanted to kind of get back to that industrial feel because this was a hardware building so we tried to, with our lighting, do a lot of open bulbs and hanging cords and stuff like that. It’s very reminiscent of the hardware aspect that used to make this building so special.”

Goldsher and Sauser have held a “soft opening” for prospective members, and said they have at least 15 potential members, including a full company that’s leaving its existing space. Among their goals is to create a hub for entrepreneurs and a place for collaboration, which they say is happening already.

Sauser said one prospective member was looking for someone to design a logo for a new company, and ended up working with another prospective member who does branding and marketing.

“They can just become each other’s clients all of a sudden,” Sauser said. “That’s the kind of synergy we’re seeing.”

The co-owners also hope the project will have a ripple effect on the downtown. They plan to work with local restaurants to offer discounts for members, and hope the location will encourage members to visit other nearby businesses.

“We want to be part of Greenfield’s revitalization, which has been going on for a long time,” Sauser said. “It’s also about making Greenfield a suitable place for a community of choice, where people ... can work remotely and can kind of live where they want to, based on their lifestyle preferences. They need the right kind of infrastructure to do their jobs. They need a place like this.”

Goldsher said the space also gives an alternative to people who would otherwise travel to coworking spaces in Northampton or Brattleboro, Vt. Greenfield is currently home to one other coworking space — Another Castle — for video game studios, designers, artists and developers.

General memberships for Greenspace cost $150 per month, or $125 per month for six months.

“The thing we like to say, because it’s true, is $150 is essentially a cup of coffee and a bagel a day, and we give you the coffee for free and the tea and the WiFi, and we have the printer and we have discounts to shows,” Goldsher said.

He added that Greenspace can be a spot for those who never thought they would work in a traditional office setup.

“We are very approachable individuals who are very excited to be able to walk each potential member through the opportunities and resources,” Goldsher said. “Ultimately Jeff and I are caretakers of the space, but the community is going to develop based off of the members, and the more people we have involved, the better that membership is going to be — the more diverse and innovative.”

For more information, visit greenspacecowork.com.