Covid19 created a lot of new paradigms, and one that probably sounded pretty good was remote working from home. Skip the arduous daily commute, why didn’t anyone think of this before? Then reality set in. Kids interrupting zoom calls, the landscapers demolishing any semblance of quiet, and the dog thinking your new schedule revolves around her–the chaos was far from conducive. A readjustment became necessary, and the tweak Westchester Business Center has been offering for the last 18 years as a full-service professional workspace gave a much-needed boost for White Plains. And very recently, Chappaqua has started to get the same lift.
“We came in to save the day,” said general manager Kris Saljanin.
The WBC just held its grand opening on September 29 at Chappaqua Crossing, and the 29 offices spaces, 10 co-working spaces, and three conference rooms are ready to go! “This is a fully functional facility that is equipped to accommodate your day-to-day business,” said Saljanin. “There’s a receptionist, a conference room, a meeting space; we can accommodate it all.”
It’s a big step up from those who use Starbucks to set up daily–especially if the wifi goes out. “That’s where the co-working comes into play,” said Saljanin. “You don’t need full time periods, but somewhere to hang your hat for a short period like for a day or a month.”
An open space environment, clients may drop in to catch up on emails, phone calls and paperwork. Even so, WBC is never in a rush to get anyone out the door, and coworkers can come to like it so much that they opt for a more permanent lease.
However, a longer haul doesn’t leave occupants feeling stuck because three, six and 12 months are the standard increments. “Traditional office space requires much longer leases–often 10 years for the type of building we are in. Our clients get access to a Grade A building with very flexible lease terms,” said Saljanin.
Excess space and an overabundance of service does not accrue for the office holder either, according to Paul Puleo, who is a WBC investor and an occupant (or member).
“If you’re a small business, and you have your own suite somewhere, you’re carrying a lot of things you don’t need to carry,” said the Chappaqua resident. “You don’t need a conference room every day, you don’t need an assistant to answer phones every day, and you don’t need to have insurance. Those things fall away when you’re here, and yet you got it all at your fingertips.”
At the same time, the normal intricacies of a day’s work don’t get lost in comparison to trying to set up in the family den. “This is a class A business space for professionals,” said Puleo. “My home is not.”
Worse yet, the much less responsive help desk at your provider essentially puts the home bound in charge of any technological failings. The same is not true at Chappaqua Crossing. “We essentially have an outsourced technology company that monitors everything 24/7,” pointed out Puleo.
In fact, an IT person is onsite to monitor the wifi, copiers, printers, fax machines and the zoom set up. “All you do is bring your laptop or desktop, and we handle everything else,” said Saljanin.
The technology isn’t the only area in which WBC lends a strong helping hand either. “We do everything from answering the phones, cold calling, filing, mail delivery, running errands to the bank and filing at the courthouse,” said Saljanin. They’ll even take the wash to the laundromat!
And the accommodations don’t end at 5 o’clock either. “Our location is open 24/7,” said Saljanin, and while WBC staff typically go home at by five, they will stay late if assistance is needed or if an event runs long.
The Bonus is a Comaraderie
The daily main event of community also overflows, and camaraderie is the spillage. “The office space allows you have a little watercolor talk,” Saljanin asserted.
On the other hand, the inherent banter doesn’t just up the social agenda. “In White Plains, there is a lot of business between members. We have lawyers who are closing for real estate people. We have therapists of one nature guiding their clients to different types of therapists….
“We have financial advisors and insurance agents who work together,” revealed Puleo. “WBC creates a bit of a business community and networking.”
Of course, every successful businessperson needs moments to dial back and daydream, and the looking glass is ever ready.
Overlooking the beautiful landscape along the Saw Mill River, the view is amazing too. With everything in place, Saljanin summed WBC up perfectly: “You come in, do what you do best, and we do the rest.”