New shared workspace opens in Philipstown
By Michael Turton
Philipstown’s latest business, Create Community, hopes to stretch the concept of shared workspace. It provides a place to get something done that’s more creative than a coffee shop, says co-owner Drena Fagen, its 2,600 square feet and multiple rooms also will appeal to small businesses looking for a meeting room, artists and dancers, or parents in need of a spot for a birthday party.
Fagen said the idea of starting a shared workspace came for the art therapy practice she co-founded, New York Creative Arts Therapists, and one run by Dana Whiddon called Coventina Healing Arts. The two women were renting at Beacon’s Beahive and each needed to expand, although they never envisioned moving into a facility as large as what they discovered on Peekskill Road in Nelsonville.
“When we found this amazing space, we got very excited about the possibilities,“ Fagen said. “We’d like to provide space for people’s business ideas to take root.”
Cold Spring architect Madeleine Sanchez works out of her own office but thinks the shared workspace concept has value. “When I got started as a freelancer in 1992, I rented a desk from a shared office in Soho,” she said. “It was a great way to work independently but feel connected. Sometimes I miss that.”
Whiddon believes the multipurpose facility will serve the community well in other ways, especially since the loss of The Living Room on Main Street, which closed in 2014. Create Community has hosted a boys’ soccer team party and a resident has booked a weeklong movement class that she had been holding in her home.
There also has been discussion of making the space home to a monthly screening of independent films. “There aren’t many spaces like this locally, even just for holding a meeting,” Whiddon said.
She pointed to one of Create Community’s most practical features. “We have off-street parking,” she said. “In the Cold Spring area that’s important!” Whiddon said parking was a big plus Nov. 26 when the site hosted an artisan market with some 20 vendors.
The former home of Spectra Dynamics, the Create Community space includes five rooms. The community room is furnished with desks, chairs, a couch, a worktable and a drawing board. Freelancers have access to Wi-Fi, free coffee and tea and use of the kitchen, which includes a fridge and stove. Desks are available for half or full days. Monthly bookings are also offered.
The site also offers a boardroom for meetings of up to 12 people and a space suitable for two-person projects.
Two rooms can accommodate up to 150 people for stand-up events and are suitable for parties, art projects and openings, workshops and training sessions. A newly installed bamboo floor allows for dance events and rehearsals.
Located at 11 Peekskill Road (the entrance and parking is off Pine Street), Create Community is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Desk rates range from $12 per half-day and $20 per full day to $172 per month. Room fees are $20 to $40 per hour, or by the month. A 2,000-square-foot event space is also available.
Create Community will hold an open house from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 that will include a pop-up art exhibit. For more information, call 845-202-3494 or visit facebook.com/createcommunity.