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Beyond the Office

Updated: May 6

By Joel Wood & Allison Maggy • Photos by Jessica McCafferty

In the evolving landscape of modern work culture, coworking spaces have emerged as a pivotal solution for professionals seeking collaborative environments to thrive and connect. In September 2022, our community welcomed one such space with the opening of Lake City Coworking at 26 City Hall Place in downtown Plattsburgh. This innovative venture has swiftly become a beacon of innovation, fostering entrepreneurship and collaboration in downtown Plattsburgh. To learn more about the space, we sat down with the owner and founder of Lake City Coworking Lynne Reznick.

A Natural Place for Networking and Community

Prior to moving to Plattsburgh in the Spring of 2020, Lynne and her husband Scott lived in Boston. Lynne was a teacher and then worked for an educational nonprofit before she transitioned to being a full-time photographer, which also meant a transition to being her own boss.

“I went from being a teacher to working at an educational nonprofit and leading a team in an office, to working by myself in my house all day,” she recounted. “There was an initial freedom that was really great. You roll up to your computer in your pajamas, you start working, you have no commute—and that’s amazing. But it also gets lonely very quickly and it can sometimes be hard to stay motivated and on task.”

That’s when Reznick discovered coworking spaces. In the simplest sense, Coworking is an arrangement in which entrepreneurs, business owners and employees from different companies or organizations come together to share an office space. Coworking has a number of benefits including cost savings and shared amenities such as equipment, WiFi, utilities, and custodial services.

Being in a large city like Boston, Reznick tried a few different coworking spaces for her photography business. “I loved using coworking spaces to get out of the house, to connect with other people and to have a change of scenery,” she recalled. One coworking space that Lynne frequented was a women’s only coworking space. There, she met many women who were also in the wedding industry, women who were fellow photographers, wedding planners, and florists who owned their own businesses. Meeting like-minded female entrepreneurs in the same industry highlighted the importance coworking spaces can hold in fostering both networking and a sense of community.

Upon relocating to Plattsburgh, Reznick identified a gap in the local market for coworking spaces. “I recognized the need for a collaborative workspace in Plattsburgh like the ones I experienced in Boston; spaces that foster productivity and community engagement.”

Driven by this, as well as her commitment to becoming an active participant in the Plattsburgh community, she embarked on a journey to bring her vision to life.

Creating a Collaborative Workspace

Reznick’s experience working in a variety of coworking spaces helped her better understand the sort of space and amenities she hoped to offer in Plattsburgh. “The general concept is that it’s a non-traditional workspace. It should be more inviting than traditional cubicles, and shouldn’t feel like an office,” she explained. “My goal was that it would feel like someone’s living room in a lot of ways.”

Her first order of business was finding a location. “I was really committed from the start to being downtown. I love the downtown area. My favorite part about living in Plattsburgh is the walkable downtown with Mom and Pop shops and local businesses.”

As she searched for the perfect space, a friend let her know about an opening that was coming up at 26 City Hall Place. Reznick checked out the space and immediately fell in love with its layout and location. She got the keys to the space in August 2022. With the help of her husband and father-in-law, was able to renovate the entire space in a month — just in time to open on First Friday on September 2, 2022.

Today, the 1,250 square foot coworking space consists of three private offices, a main working space, a small phone booth for taking zoom/phone calls, and a conference room. The space has evolved naturally over time. Many changes — to make it more user-friendly — including the addition of private offices and changes to the phone booth — evolved out of feedback and suggestions directly from members.

The meticulous attention to detail is evident in every aspect of Lake City Coworking, from its clean, contemporary aesthetic to its thoughtfully curated amenities such as a kitchenette, free coffee station and snack bar with items for sale. Reznick’s commitment to providing a welcoming and productive environment for members shines through in every aspect of the space.

Tailoring Membership Options to Meet Diverse Needs

Diversity and flexibility are fundamental principles guiding Lake City Coworking’s membership structure. Recognizing the varied work styles and preferences of professionals in the community, Reznick has curated a range of membership options to cater to their needs. From day passes for occasional users to “all-access passes” for regulars, Lake City Coworking offers a solution for every professional.

“From my own personal experience, I knew that I liked a low-commitment flexible option,” she explained. “I liked having the flexibility of using the coworking space on an as-needed basis.”

Lake City Coworking’s membership options have evolved since it first opened. A variety of options to best fit all needs include day-passes, two days a month, a five-pack of days, a ten-pack of days, all-access, and private office rentals.

All members, regardless of membership level, get a code for the pin pad on the door to access the space during general business hours. Private office members get a code that allows them 24/7 access.

“It’s been an iterative process in figuring out both how to educate people here about the value proposition of working at a coworking space, and also figuring out what people really want in a coworking space and providing that to them,” she explained.

Fostering Community and Professional Development

Beyond providing workspace solutions, Lake City Coworking serves as a hub for community engagement and professional development. Through partnerships with local businesses and organizations, Reznick has created a platform for collaboration and growth. The space hosts a variety of workshops, training sessions and networking events, providing members and non-members with valuable opportunities to expand their skills and connect with like-minded individuals.

The social workshops are where individuals can gather to learn something new such as pasta making, sugar cookie decorating, cupcake decorating, intro to caricatures, how to take better pictures on your cell phone, flower arrangement/design, and so much more.

On the business-centric workshop front, Lake City recently hosted the “Let’s Talk Business Retreat” on March 2.The workshop offered five-hours of speaker led, interactive workshops for micro and small business owners and was bookended by a welcome networking session and a send-off networking session.

The space is also available to rent to the community for small events.

At the core of Lake City’s mission is community, both for members and the broader community. “I wanted a space where people can gather, learn, engage with each other, and try new things. It’s been one of the most exciting elements.”

Dispelling Myths and Charting a Course for the Future

When asked about the biggest misconception around coworking spaces, Reznick replied, “The idea that it’s something that individuals don’t need if they work from home. I challenge people and invite people to give it a try. Even if you have a great routine at home, even if you have a really great set-up at home, you’re missing an opportunity to expand your network, build your connections and enrich your work and personal life by giving this a try.”

As Lake City Coworking continues to evolve, Reznick remains focused on its mission of empowering entrepreneurs and driving economic growth in Plattsburgh. With plans to expand membership options and further enhance amenities, Lake City is poised to play a central role in shaping the future of the local business landscape.

So don’t be shy, next time you are downtown, be sure to drop by Lake City Coworking to say hello to Reznick and her amazing members. Who knows, they may just become your office mates!

Lake City Coworking

26 City Hall Place

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

518 293-2262

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