Let’s Co-Work Together!

Let’s Co-Work Together!

The rise of shared work spaces is great news for local entrepreneurs


It’s a bright summer morning, and Lorenzo Marinelli and his laptop are bathed in sunlight pouring through the large windows at Easton coWorks at the Karl Stirner Arts Building.

“I was looking for a local coworking space because working from home is not what everyone thinks,” he says. “It’s very lonely; you can’t get up and talk to other people, and you’re easily sidetracked.”

Marinelli, a principal of Starfire Consulting, a global market research firm, had previously rented office space in Philadelphia until he realized that the digital nature of his profession allowed for more freedom and flexibility. He found that and more at Easton coWorks (230 Ferry St., Easton; eastoncoworks.com), a 1,600-square-foot coworking space on the first floor in the repurposed industrial warehouse in the heart of Easton’s surging downtown business district. There, he says he thrives off the creative energy from the mix of clients—from contractors to a startup publishing company.

Communal coworking space is becoming a popular alternative to traditional corporate-owned offices

With rich, age-patinaed hard wood floors and exposed beams highlighting tall ceilings and white walls, and a pot of fresh coffee always ready for a pour, Easton coWorks offers six dedicated work areas with desks for $300 a month, says owner Sarah Clark, who operates her branding and interactive agency, Kudu Creative, alongside her coworking clients.

“I love the open floor plan—you feel free to do your thing here,” she says. “There’s natural synergy because relationships are built among the people who conduct business here. There’s a lot of creative consultation that goes on.”

Across the Lehigh Valley, 24/7 communal coworking space is becoming a popular alternative to traditional corporate-owned offices as work habits and employee expectations evolve. Here’s a look at some other great shared spaces in the region.


532 W. Hamilton Street | Allentown

Velocity, an urban coworking space developed by City Center Investment Corp., offers collaborative space for innovative businesses and networking opportunities for professionals. Fees start at $125 a month for free-range space, and range from $360 to $1,155 a month for office space that accommodates two to six people. Among Velocity’s 16 clients are Penn State Lehigh Valley, Prophet Logic, and Lehigh Valley Faces.

With exposed brick and pipes throughout the space, the Velocity layouts include private office space coupled with shared conference rooms, break rooms, and open lounge areas. 

“Many people starting their own businesses need private offices so they aren’t working from home with children and distractions or holding client meetings at Starbucks,” says Jill Wheeler, vice president of sales and marketing. “Or they work for a larger company that doesn’t have an office located in the Lehigh Valley.” 

“Our tenants enjoy the working environment and upbeat vibe with like-minded entrepreneurs nearby.  We’re here to offer collaborative networking opportunities within and beyond Velocity to professionals who are passionate about being a part of building a vibrant downtown Allentown community,” Wheeler says.

For more information, visit: citycenterallentown.com/properties/office-space/velocity

The Office Quarters

1275 Glenlivet Drive | Upper Macungie Township

Founded in 2001, The Office Quarters provides facilities for small businesses, entrepreneurs, financial advisers, attorneys, accountants, mortgage companies, and larger companies with a regional presence. The cost for space begins at $500 a month, and there are 45 offices in size from 120 to 500 square feet. Space also is available by the day, and virtual space is an option, where clients can use phone services and a physical address for correspondence.

Layton Dodson, president and owner of The Office Quarters, says he’s expanded from 8,400 square feet when he started to 15,000 square feet as demand for coworking space has grown. 

For employees who have been home-based as companies shed their real estate, a certain separation anxiety can develop. “It sounds great not having to commute every day, but a lot of people really miss that socialization you get at the conventional work space,” says Dodson. “We’re now seeing coworking morphing into shared work space where employees are hanging out and working together.”

For more information, visit: theofficequarters.com

The Business Community at Forty South

40 S. Fifth Street | Allentown

Started last year by Carrie Ward, Rich Hall, and Justin Brown, Forty South, a former law office, provides a business community environment with individual office and meeting room space to entrepreneurs and sole proprietors in the Lehigh Valley who want a downtown presence at an affordable, all-inclusive price.

“We offer a membership instead of a lease, making it easy to give us a try by starting in a smaller space and moving to a larger space as your business expands,” Ward says. “Early on in our discussions, we decided to add coworking spaces to meet the needs of those individuals on a very tight budget or who just wanted to be in an area with like-minded individuals. New business relationships have been formed here—it’s a fun and exciting place to work.”

Monthly member price for the coworking space is $99, and offices range from $399 to $899 per month depending on size, location, and furnishings. Membership options provide Forty South clients access to a secure building, a furnished office or coworking space, free high-speed internet, free printing and copying, access to kitchenettes, networking opportunities, and more. 

For more information, visit: fortysouthllc.com

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