Downtown Fresno virtual office space caters to home businesses

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today's economy and emerging technology are both factors in people choosing to work from their home, but a new enterprise in downtown Fresno thinks it has the right combination to lure you out of your home and into one its office options. It's located near Tulare and H Street and for a low price you can create your own "virtual" office space.

This former train depot was built in 1889 in downtown Fresno. The trains still roll by but the building has been renovated several times.

This new incarnation houses OfficeBay: a full service business office for independent clients, like John Heinz who recently relocated his family to Fresno.

"I sell promotional products like imprinted hats, shirts," said Heinz.

Heinz chose the virtual office option. He had been working at home but this place gave him a new choice. He has access 24-hours a day and uses whatever virtual office is open. He pays the $99 a month "virtual office" rate that includes internet, a personal phone number and access to a common kitchen and more.

"I never heard of a virtual office till I stumbled across this one and it's fantastic."

OfficeBay's manager says there is a market for these virtual and private offices downtown. Safety gates and security measures are part of the package

Crystal McLaughlin, OfficeBay Manager: "If you need conference space or copies made, we have a shipping center so you can send out your mail, faxes are included."

Cheryl Chandler moved from an office in North Fresno and installed her own furniture in her private office call a "Smart Office." They start at $399 a month with all the same amenities.

Cheryl Chandler, Smart Office user: I needed to be downtown; I was spending a lot of time running from downtown to my office on Shaw. This came up and the price was right."

The owners of this new shared office space are banking on other mobile clients to find the location and its options, desirable.

While OfficeBay is open, its official grand opening will be held on March 7th when Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin will welcome this new development to downtown Fresno.

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