Leechburg Area Community Development Corp. continues the growth of the region with the launch of a “coworking space”
As more people and businesses experiment with remote working arrangements, the Leechburg Area Community Development Corporation (LACDC) wanted to provide a space with another option: an office-like environment not far from home.
The former First Commonwealth Bank building has been transformed into a coworking space with a variety of options. The space offers flexible seating, personal desks, private rooms, collaboration space and more.
The building will be open 24 hours a day.
âThey can rent an office to come here and work in an office environment, while still working remotely,â said Louis Phillips, president of LACDC.
The idea was started with a focus on those who are switching to working from home due to the pandemic. As the idea evolved, the organization realized that the space could be opened up to anyone looking to have their own place to work with clients.
âThe pandemic is working in our favor because people are now at home and people don’t want to commute, or it’s going to hurt us because people don’t want to go to an office with other people,â Phillips noted.
Phillips said coworking spaces are more common in urban areas where entrepreneurs rent out shared space. They are just starting to spread to suburban and rural areas, he said. Coworking spaces are emerging in neighborhoods such as New Kensington and Kittanning.
âThis space will have some of the same motivation,â he said. âOurs is a more community mission. “
Coworking space is just one of the ways the organization is trying to make Leechburg a tourist destination and other attractions.
Coworking space entrepreneur Doreen Smeal said Leechburg is one of the few small towns in the area that has kept businesses and filled empty storefronts. The coworking space could encourage people to explore the growing city, whether it’s for shopping or a bite to eat, she said.
âI think that’s part of the reason Leechburg is still where it is at,â she said.
The organization saw a space opportunity after First Commonwealth closed in December 2020. The building was donated to the organization, which reached an agreement on it in March.
An open day was held in November to introduce the coworking space to local businesses. Phillips said attendees were impressed.
âThe response has been really positive,â he said.
A few people will be testing the space to give their opinion on what can be improved to optimize the work experience for individuals, Phillips said.
An app called Leechburg Coworking Space, available for Apple and Android products, is the tool for renting spaces and accessing the building.