WESTFIELD – Community Manager Theresa Bessette is encouraging people to sign up now as a community member for the soon-to-be completed MilWorks Co-Sharing Workspace in The Mill at Crane Pond on 77 Mill Street.
“People can join now,” Bessette said this week, adding that signing up at www.millworkswestfield.com as a community member doesn’t cost anything, and you will be given access to the calendar and events open to the public, including an open house planned for late winter or early spring.
MillWorks Co-Sharing Workspace offers a work environment where individuals can share office services, equipment, technology, and space, allowing flexible and affordable options for telecommuters, entrepreneurs, start-ups, students, independent contractors, traveling business people, or anyone looking for a creative and supportive place to work. Mill owner J. Rockwell Allen recognized the need for a space like this in Westfield after a visit to Seattle in 2019, and started renovating the floor formerly occupied by the Noble Visiting Nurses for MillWorks in January.
Bessette said the opening, originally slated for November, was delayed a bit due to COVID. Work crews had to stagger, and a lot of contractors were busy with other projects. They also had to retrofit spaces to make accommodations for COVID safety, such as adding plastic barriers at the flexible desk stations, where for the time being they will be allowing use of only two of the four stations at a time.
“We had to reconfigure the whole layout. There will be a lot of under-utilized space to start,” Bessette said. Regardless, without even advertising, she said there has been “an incredible amount of interest,” and the first people are coming in to use the space in the first week of January.
MillWorks offers flexible desk rentals for $150/month, which people can come and use 24/7, or dedicated desks with a locking cabinet for $200/month. Rentals include high speed internet, access to the copier and scanner, huddle and conference rooms, work lounge, phone room and cafe, and the mailroom. The dedicated desks also have access to the electric vehicle charging stations. Daily or occasional uses are also available for $30/day.
Also available are a limited number of private offices, which come furnished with a locking cabinet, and rent for $300 for a small office for one to two people, or $525 a month for a team of up to four people. Bessette said monthly reservations are being taken for all the spaces at millworkswestfield.com, and the private offices “are going really fast.”
The conference room or “presentation hall” will have enhanced video capacity and access to a breakout room, and will be available for the public to rent by the day or the hour for large meetings or event space.
Bessette said the Mill at Crane Pond has served as an incubator for a lot of companies that have moved on to larger spaces, and a lot of traffic comes to the building for current businesses, such as the Great Awakenings brewery and the Pottery Cellar and Cafe, two of the newer tenants.
She said that she and Allen are hoping new businesses will get their start at MillWorks. “It’s an affordable setup for people starting out with a small business, or people working on their own for another business,” Bessette said, adding that the co-sharing workspace offers opportunities to network with other businesses, and to grow your own business.
Bessette, an entrepreneur with a long career in health care, said that’s how she got involved in the project herself, trying to work at home on her dining room table.
“I missed people. Even though contact will be limited here for the time being, there will be some contact,” Bessette said.
For more information or for a tour of the space, go to millworkswestfield.com, or email Theresa Bessette at [email protected]