Co-working space coming to downtown Elizabethton

Published 2:56 pm Monday, February 14, 2022

By Lynn J. Richardson

If all goes according to plans, this summer downtown Elizabethton will offer people a new place to do business.
Ken Edens, owner of the Coffee Company building, has big plans for the top floor of the structure — formerly the old Slagle’s Department Store — located at 444 East Elk Avenue.
Along with business partner Chris Range, the two are transforming 2,000 square feet of floor space into a co-working space for people from a wide range of professions.
“This is an alternative to working from home,” Edens said. “With changing times, we need alternatives. You can’t always work from home with all the distractions.”
“Chris has used co-working spaces in the past,” Edens added. “As a project manager for 3M who has decided to return to his hometown of Elizabethton from Atlanta, he had used co-working spaces for the past five years. He knew he would need a similar area here, with access to broadband, and he realized many others had similar needs.”
When the space is complete, there will be 5-6 private office spaces, 6-7 designated spaces, conference areas and 10-12 “hotspots.” These spaces will join two existing larger and currently-occupied offices located on the same floor.
“For instance, if you’re a young lawyer, just starting out but you can’t afford a permanent office, this is for you,” Edens said. “If you’re a contractor only here working for about six months and need a place to conduct business, this is for you. If you’re a realtor and you’re only going to be in town for a week or a day, this would work for you.”
Fees for the workspace will be in the form of memberships which can be purchased for as long or short a time as required — a day, a week or an extended time.
The project will require major structural changes to the upstairs. A large wall will be removed from the middle of the space, providing an open floor plan with an industrial look complete with hardwood floors, exposed brick and an industrial-look ceiling. Natural light will stream in from both the front and back through the large windows, with the back south-facing windows offering uniform light all day long.
Workspace members will be able to safely access the space any time of the day or night through the front or back entrance with a 24-hour a day, seven day-a-week security system in place.
“The space will be completely revamped, a total rehab,” Edens said. “It will be air conditioned, all new HVAC and bathrooms, complete with showers. In fact, if you want to bike in on the Tweetsie Trail, you can come right on in, take your shower, get ready and get to work. We want to make it easy for people to use the space and maximize functionality.”
In addition, the workspace will offer the opportunity to work outside on nice days, on a deck which will be built out over the lower roof at the rear of the building, overlooking the Tweetsie Trail.
Edens is enthusiastic about the new endeavor and added there is one more perk for people who choose to work there.
“This is a great location with the Coffee Company just below. If you’re working and you get a little hungry or need coffee, it’s right downstairs.”

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