ATASCADERO — Set for a month after their move-in date, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting and mixer at their new location — 6907 El Camino Real, Suite A — Aug. 16 at 5:30 p.m.
Located in a wing of the Creekside Building, near the Centennial Footpath Bridge, it’s difficult to imagine the space as having once been a bowling alley. But renovations have been extensive since then, with the building serving for a decade as the temporary home of City Hall.
The Chamber of Commerce has rebranded and launched a new community service with the move, said their President and CEO Derek Kirk.
The overhauled mission statement, changed for the first time in a century, now emphasizes “empowering our business community,” and they’ve called on community sponsors to open a “co-working space” with seating for 25 local entrepreneurs who, he added, would otherwise be commuting or working out of a Starbucks or home office conversion.
Modeled in part on the similar facility for Cal Poly students in downtown San Luis Obispo, the space takes up roughly half of the 2,972 square feet leased by the Chamber. Unlike the origin of the university driven “Hot House” space south of the Cuesta Grade, the Atascadero version is aimed at anyone who needs some office accommodation, from independent contractors to realtors.
The rest of the space is split with the organization’s own working offices, conference rooms sporting dividers and classroom conversion configurations, and a private web development company in a permanent office.
Altogether the area is more than double that of the previous location on just the other side of El Camino Real, the second time — say long time employees — they’d doubled their elbow room in a move.
On the job since January, Kirk noted the move had not been on the Chamber’s agenda a year ago, but results of a community needs survey had shown interest in the work space idea.
To facilitate the project the aptly named “Bridgework” space has taken on naming sponsorship from Pacific Premier Bank, with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. contributing for the classroom facilities.
“Everything’s on wheels,” Kirk notes, gesturing to the brand new furniture, “so we can set up just about anything we need.”
Merchandise and signage for the Visitor Center area had not been delivered as of Monday, July 30, but was on the way, with a suitable outdoor sign to replace the sandwich board bearing the new “El Camino Real” themed logo. Installation is awaiting a City permit, Kirk noted.
A dedicated desk in Bridgework goes for $250 a month with applications available on the Chamber’s website: www.atascaderochamber.org/bridgework/.