(Photo courtesy of WorkMode)
Bel Air will be joining the growing number of towns in the Baltimore area with coworking spaces: On the Harford County town’s Main Street, a former movie theatre is set to be transformed into WorkMode.
“We are so excited to bring a beautiful and inspiring space to downtown Bel Air and we look forward to housing talented, creative and driven individuals and businesses,” WorkMode General Manager Lindsay Creed said.
The nearly 11,000-square-foot building will house a mix of desks and over 20 private offices, as well as a conference space with room for 160 people. It’ll have meeting rooms and phone booths throughout, as well as a printing room. There will also be a coffee bar in the building, providing easy access to caffeine. Creed said her team is targeting a summer 2020 opening.
Building owner Kevin Jablon is the CEO of Bel Air-based commercial flooring business Spartan Surfaces, and saw opportunity to bring a space that would add to activity in the town’s center that includes retail, restaurants and the courthouse. Visiting coworking spaces in the area, Creed said she also noted how the spaces brought people together from across age ranges and backgrounds
With WorkMode, they’re seeking to offer space for entrepreneurs, remote workers and lawyers who need office space to get stuff done, as well as a chance to collaborate. It’s already drawn attention from folks looking to learn more about coworking in general, as well as available space in the building.
“As soon as we put that sign up we had so many people reaching out to us,” Creed said.
WorkMode is partnering with Bel Air Downtown Alliance to bring the project to fruition. Recognizing that the town could benefit, the community development organization has worked on a coworking concept for over two years, said executive director Christopher Pineda.
“It’s definitely going to increase the economic viability of the town,” he said.
Going forward, the Alliance plans a significant presence in WorkMode. For one thing, its offices will be located there, and the team plans to get involved with the entrepreneurs and businesses in the space. Team members and board members have expertise in areas like business development, partnership building and human resources. They will be able to organize workshops and provide other resources, Pineda said.
The project also received $150,000 through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy Program.
The building sat vacant for four years. Some of the exposed brick will remain, but now leaders are turning it into a new home for an estimated 35 businesses.
WorkMode is a sign, Pineda said, “that other businesses and other investors can come in, do something with empty spaces, and continue to build.”-30-
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