Over a year ago, the City of Perry began brainstorming ideas on how they could better utilize the Town and Craft Center, and very soon a plan will be realized that will turn it into a shared office space.
The coworking space is the brainchild of Chamber of Commerce Director Bob Wilson and City Administrator Sven Peterson, and it would turn the downtown building into a place where entrepreneurs and other professionals can have a low-cost office. The Town and Craft Building, located on the corner of Willis Avenue and 2nd Street, currently houses Iowa State University Extension, the ISU School of Design, and a few other entities. However, with statewide budget cuts, they will be moving out of the building soon, so Peterson and Wilson felt it was a good opportunity to make the coworking space a reality. To get things moving, the Perry City Council approved the project at their most recent meeting.
Wilson further explains, “It’s a beautiful facility and we want to use it. Obviously it costs money to run, so we want to find a way to create some revenue here. So out of that conversation came a coworking space. It’s not a very new concept, but it’s new-ish. So what it is is you offer various levels of office space to a variety of sectors of business.”
The facility will include three permanent offices with locked doors, and they may add more in the basement in the future. There will also be several temporary desks that can be rented by the day, week, month, or longer. It will have it’s own wireless connection provided by Minburn Communications, mailboxes with actual mailing addresses, copy and fax machine access, and of course coffee. Wilson says it’s a great opportunity for people to lower their overhead on rent, have an office, and network with other professionals in the area.
He adds, there’s already been interest from the community in using the shared office space. They plan to roll it out sometime this summer, likely around mid-July. Eventually, the Chamber itself may move there as well, so they can help manage the space. To hear more about the shared office space, listen to last Friday’s Perry Fareway Let’s Talk Dallas County program at RaccoonValleyRadio.com.