Venture X, a membership-based co-working space, plans to open its first location in Pennsylvania in South Bethlehem this March.
Quadratus Construction is building out the space inside the Gateway at Greenway Park building, said Nancy Black, community director of Venture X.
Venture X is a co-working franchise that began in Naples, Florida and spread to other states, including New York, Boston, California and Texas.
Black said Venture X will occupy 13,000 square feet on the first floor and part of the second floor. She plans to have the space mostly finished by February in time for a mid-March opening. Spillman Farmer Architects of Bethlehem is the designer.
“It’s a very high-end co-working shared space,” Black said. “The building is very new and will fit the culture of Venture X. It’s also a central location in the valley.”
The office space Venture X is renting offers companies and individuals shared desks and a number of private offices, she said.
Black said she has been involved in real estate in New York City for the past six and half years and wanted to offer quality co-working office space that would include networking events.
She said she already has a few small companies and individuals interested in the space.
Terry Wallace, an executive who led a global human resources Fortune 100 company and a startup sees a strong demand for co-working space in the Lehigh Valley.
“I see an absolute need here in the Lehigh Valley,” Wallace said. “The industry is just blowing up as a service option.”
Wallace is the CEO of Alynus Inc., a company focused on business and consulting and an investor in Venture X Lehigh Valley. He’s lived in the Lehigh Valley for about 15 years and has worked in New York City all those years and felt it was time to simplify his life.
He wanted to find a solution to the challenging commutes many workers face who live in the valley but work in New York City or Philadelphia.
“The knowledge-based workforce that anchor between where you live and the impact on your work is gone,” Wallace said. “The only reason that people have to travel is because their management acumen insist they be seen. I know how difficult that type of career can be for people.”
Wallace said he knows many executives who have to travel deep into New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia for their careers because that’s how their companies work.
However, he plans to change that with Venture X.
“Where you live and where you work can be one and the same,” Wallace said. “I want us to be an offering to businesses and individuals so that no matter where you live you are about 10 minutes from one of our locations.”
He plans to invest in more potential sites in Easton and Allentown and chose Bethlehem because he views the South Side as being on a trajectory of growth.
Wallace said the leases will be quarterly and he will offer three levels of membership with different pricing. Shared desks will be $200 per month, dedicated desks will be $400 and private office suites start at $800. He will also offer community memberships, which provide access to the common space but he does not have a rental cost determined yet.
Tenants who buy co-working space will have access to other amenities on-site, including payroll services, notary services, a café, and a conference room.
The site is at 306 S. New St. and attached to a parking garage.