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 that offers 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 offices, private rooms, collaboration space and more.

The building will be open 24 hours a day.

“They can rent an office to come here and work in an office environment, while working remotely,” said Louis Phillips, president of LACDC.

The idea was launched with a focus on those transitioning to working from home due to the pandemic. As the idea evolved, the organization realized the space could be open to anyone who wanted to have their own place to work with clients.

“Either the pandemic plays into this for us because people are now at home and people don’t want to commute, or it’s going to work against us because people don’t want to go into an office with other people. people,” Phillips said. noted.

Phillips said coworking spaces are more common in urban areas where entrepreneurs rent shared space. They are just beginning to spread in suburban and rural areas, he said. Coworking spaces are emerging in areas such as New Kensington and Kittanning.

“This space will have some of the same motivation,” he said. “Ours is a more communal mission.”

The coworking space is just one of the ways the organization is trying to promote Leechburg as a tourist destination and other attractions.

Doreen Smeal, a coworking space entrepreneur, said Leechburg is one of the few small towns in the region that has retained businesses and filled empty storefronts. The coworking space could encourage people to explore the growing city, whether for shopping or a bite to eat, she said.

“I think that’s part of the reason Leechburg is still where it is,” she said.

The organization saw an opportunity for space 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 local businesses to the coworking space. Phillips said attendees were impressed.

“The response has been really positive,” he said.

A few people will beta test the space to give feedback on what can be improved to optimize individuals’ work experience, Phillips said.

An app called Leechburg Coworking Space, available for Apple and Android products, is the tool for renting spaces and gaining access to the building.

Tanisha Thomas is the editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Norma P. Rex