A new co-working space is under construction in downtown Anderson.
Anderson businessmen Jason Patterson, Danny Walker, and John Wright Jr. plan to open Whitner & Company Co-Work Space this fall in a two-story, 3,100-square-foot building 109 S. McDuffie St. across from the former Bailes building site.
The space, which owners said is the first of its kind in Anderson, will provide entrepreneurs, contractors, stay-at-home workers, and other professionals with a place to do their work in an environment that promotes collaboration. Owners said they also hope the building will be used for events that showcase the county’s burgeoning entrepreneurial culture.
“I’ve heard from a lot of people and this is definitely something we need in Anderson,” Patterson said. “We wanted to keep people from having to drive to Greenville and other places. We think the demand is here.”
Property records showed the owners purchased the building in May for $130,000 via their company McDuffie Street Properties from Greer-based Gibb Shoals Properties.
It sits on a .6-acre lot across beside Generator Park.
The owners said they are investing a “significant” amount to transform the building.
When complete, the interior will feature exposed brick, original hardwood floors, new windows that allow for natural light to spill in, and rooftop space for work, entertainment, and events.
“We want it to look nice and to be practical for our tenants,” Wright said. “Since this is the first co-working space in Anderson, we knew we needed to do it right.”
Wright said the owners have inquired about an adjacent 1,500-square-foot former loan office building for sale at 201 E. Benson St., which is owned by Greenville-based ACC Properties 1, according to property records.
He said he believes both buildings date back to the 1940s.
The owners said the current layout should be able to accommodate up to 30 users. They have already received strong interest from prospective tenants.
“You’ve got entrepreneurs and small business folks who need space, but don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount on rent for space they don’t need,” Wright said. “There are also people working from home who need a place to escape so they can get their work done… We think it will attract a diverse range of users.”
Rates will range from about $250 to $275 per month for one workstation. Private offices will be available at an introductory rate of about $450 to $475 each.
Those rates include access to a number of amenities, including meeting rooms, private lounge space, a coffee bar, office equipment, internet, janitorial, and other services.
“It’s going to be good,” Wright said.
Patterson and Walker are partners at the Anderson-based marketing firm Growth360. Wright is a commercial broker with McCoy Wright Real Estate in Anderson.
“We all grew up in Anderson,” Walker said. “This is where we live, work, and play. Our families are here. We wanted to take care of home… The city of Anderson is very cooperative and helpful in terms of attracting improvement to the downtown area. They’re bending over backwards to help businesses succeed here. Everywhere along the way, we’ve been met with support.”
Pamela Christopher, president and CEO of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, said she believes the new co-working space will be a benefit to the community.
“We don’t have nearly enough start-up space for entrepreneurs and small businesses,” she said. “It will be great for those who don’t want to commute, but still need that time away from home to get their work done.”
Christopher said she believes the space will provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to share ideas, pool their resources, and overcome challenges that will help grow business and continue to add to the community’s prosperity.
“It’s really key when you’re coming up as an entrepreneur that you help other businesses grow because those people may end up helping you out,” she said. “I think this will help build a peer-to-peer network… I’m thrilled that we have business people in the community that saw a need and decided they needed to do something about it. It’s exactly what we need.”
For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/whitnerandcompany.