You wouldn’t believe that the New Leaf Initiative’s new office space is opening on Wednesday if you walked in today. With a constant stream of workers walking in and out, Co-Director Serena Fulton adamantly declared, “We’ll be ready.” After all, this isn’t the same old New Leaf. This is New Leaf 2.0.
Moving from a small space underneath Dunkin’ Donuts on Fraser Street to a 2,600 sq. ft. space on the third floor of State College Borough Hall, New Leaf now has room to expand. With the expansion also comes the need to diversify and find a revenue stream in order to sustain its existing programs. Their answer? Co-working space.
Co-working space allows for young companies and organizations to rent out cheap office space without the hassle of taking care of the phone bill, furniture, or even the coffee. Each member receives their own desk space and shares a kitchen, printer, and a meeting room with other members of the space. Fulton describes the concept as, “a bit of a movement with about 800 co-working spaces two years ago to 3,000 today.” Rent is based on the number of hours each member uses the space, with three tiers: 10 hours a week at $150 a month, 20 hours at $250, and 40 hours at $450. Community partners can also use the space for $75 a year for individuals and $150 a year for groups, but they don’t have access to the meeting space, among other things. Student rates start a $50 a year for an individual and $100 a year for groups, which can allow for a reprieve from the library if you’re willing to spend a few dollars.
The addition of co-working space doesn’t mean New Leaf is moving away from their community center roots, though. Anyone from the community can use the space after noon but unlike Starbucks, you lose internet access after an hour. The space is nonetheless a great place to organize projects downtown, without needing to make the trek to campus.
The space will open Wednesday with an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Suite 337 of the State College Borough Building. The event will include live music and refreshments with a ribbon-cutting ceremony starting at 6.