The new coworking space, 3Mile, on High St Carterton. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER
Wairarapa’s first coworking space, 3Mile, officially opened yesterday and is already sparking ideas on what the space can do for the region’s economy.
Named after Three Mile Bush — the original name for Carterton — 3Mile is located on Carterton’s High St and aims to provide small business operators, freelancers, and individuals with an area where they can collaborate, have meetings, or simply share an office space over a great cup of coffee.
Founder Marie-Claire Andrews was pleased “phase one” of the space was complete, which meant it now hosted 10 seated desks, two standing desks, a meeting table and two sofa breakout spaces for people to come and work at.
Some people had questioned whether the main street would benefit from more shops instead of an office, but Ms Andrews was confident 3Mile could help boost the existing retail businesses in Carterton by attracting a constant stream of different people to the High St area.
She wanted the space to be used by people from all over the region, and someone from Greytown was already making the most of 3Mile’s opening day.
Freelance graphic designer Peter Veltkamp was one of the original volunteers to the project and had since joined as a shareholder.
He has lived in Carterton for five years and was looking forward to using the space himself, as well as providing something innovative to the region.
“It’s exciting – I’ve always enjoyed doing something for the community.
“It’s a way of giving something back.”
Ms Andrews hoped the space would entice many home office workers due to its “good vibe and good feel about it”, as well as boasting good coffee.
The space also offers wifi, free training workshops for members, and access to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
“It has interesting architecture and is a funky space,” she said.
“It is better than a home office — people can come here and meet people and share ideas.”
The big open area is a far cry from the drab scene usually associated with an office building.
The modern, freshly painted open space is flooded with natural lighting and kitted out with unique furniture from Nood.
It also features a nod to Carterton’s daffodil status, with the intentional inclusion of yellow in the colour scheme.
There had already been a fair amount of interest, with people taking advantage of monthly memberships which covered use of the space for one to two days per week during the month.
Ms Andrews said the non-expiring 10 trip ticket option had also proved popular, as it provided members with a cheaper price than the drop-in option and gave them free access to the workshop events.
She was now looking for further investors or sponsors to contribute funds before phase two could begin, which would see an even bigger area at the back of the current site become dedicated meeting rooms, soundproof pods, and a full kitchen.