Meet Arkansas' office of the future: Ledger
I put on a hard hat and took a tour of the under-construction Ledger in downtown Bentonville on Friday. Now I’m ready to tell you all about the massive project that’s impossible to miss.
Why it matters: The flexible coworking space was planned before the pandemic, but it couldn’t come at a better time given changes in working habits. Mary Best, who’s on the operations and community team for the Ledger, called it the "evolution of the coffee shop worker."
- It'll be a place that startups can use while getting their businesses off the ground, where self-employed and remote workers can rent office space, and where business people from out of town can get some work done.
- Coworking space exists in Benton County, but not on this scale.
1 cool thing: Perhaps the most glaringly unique part of this building is that you can ride your bicycle up to any floor — including its in-building coffee shop.
- If Bentonville is going to proudly be the "mountain biking capital of the world," then a workspace like this should celebrate the bike community, Best and developer Josh Kyles tell Axios.
Details: The Ledger will be six stories and 230,000-square-feet with a bar and retail space. It will be able to accommodate about 1,500 workers at full capacity.
- It will include a variety of offices, such as coworking space and private offices of different sizes.
- Workers will not commit to leases. Instead, the building will be membership-based, allowing people to pay for day or month passes, Kyles says.
Unlike most office spaces only open to the people who work there, the Ledger will be community-oriented, Best says.
- The space will be open to some ticketed events.
- And the adjacent parking garage, a joint project between the Ledger and the city, will have an 80-foot mural painted on the side. (No, they wouldn't tell me what it'll be yet.)
Flashback: This was originally supposed to be a joint project between Kyles and WeWork, but WeWork is no longer involved.
What's next: The Ledger is expected to open summer 2022. It will at first only be open to a limited number of people to work out any kinks, Best says.
- Also, I'm told there are a few more features up the Ledger's sleeve that the developers aren’t ready to share. Stay tuned.
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