Original Published on Sep 27, 2022 at 20:18

By Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — When business is cooking and office space is limited, entrepreneurs or business people visiting Thunder Bay can try out a “hot desk” at the Northwestern Innovation Centre.

After a major renovation in 2018, helped along by federal funding, the centre developed The Landing, which features multiple working environments on-site at their Nipigon Road location on the Confederation College campus. 

Bridget Postuma, the centre’s business development advisor, says they have made a few changes to The Landing, which now includes four meeting rooms, a boardroom and 12 workstations known as hot desks, complete with WiFi, all of which can be rented on an hourly, daily or longer-term basis with no memberships required. 

Postuma and her team will host an open house at the centre on Thursday where entrepreneurs can explore the facility, have a professional headshot done by Shout Media and have a one-on-one interview with Erin Siskco, a Linkedin professional who will provide advice about standing out on social media platforms. 

“We see a lot of entrepreneurs that are home-based, and post-COVID, they want to get out of their homes and start networking a little bit,” Postuma said. “Our anticipation is (hosting) entrepreneurs looking for a space just to work for a day here and there.”

She says their focus is on entrepreneurs but they do rent out the meeting rooms and the boardrooms to anyone that needs the space while the hot desks are aimed at entrepreneurs. 

The Vault, a similar operation that provides business space, was opened in the former Toronto Dominion Bank on Red River Road in the spring of 2018 by Scott McNabb, the CEO of HPG Property Management. 

“The Vault is a co-workspace,” McNabb said. “We have 18 offices and memberships that we offer to anybody who’s looking for a quiet space to work in the form of either a boardroom or a video teleconference suite or a private office, public office or shared office. It all depends on your budget.”

An added feature within the space caters to business people needing accommodation with four furnished condominiums upstairs, two boardrooms on the main floor and a video conference suite. 

“There’s a great little coffee shop called Pressed For Time on-site as well,” McNabb said. “Within all of that is a collection of entrepreneurs and business folks from out of town, who work collaboratively together if they choose, or independently. However long they need, whether it’s by the afternoon, or by a five-year term and everything in between, it’s scalable, you can ramp up ramp down whatever you need.”

There’s a gym in the basement so they can have a workout throughout their day.

The membership allows access to offices on either a nine to five basis or a 24/7 basis depending on what someone is paying for and are not required for single-day use. 

“It’s very new to Thunder Bay and has a very New York or Toronto feel,” McNabb said.

Both Postuma and McNabb see their boardroom used by larger and out-of-town companies that are looking for a space to meet.

The open house at The Landing will take place at 2400 Nipigon Rd. from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 768-6682.

This item reprinted with permission from   The Chronicle-Journal   Thunder Bay, Ontario

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