SOUTHINGTON — Renovations to the third floor of a downtown building are underway, transforming former classrooms into a business center that will offer shared services to a dozen different offices.
Roger Dietz rented the third floor of the Abbey Park building, 35 N. Main St., to introduce the business center concept, more common in cities, to Southington.
The center offers things like internet and phone connections, printers and a receptionist. Businesses and individuals can rent offices of varying sizes.
“Move in...I’ve got all the stuff that you need,” Dietz said.
One classroom formerly used by Branford Hall was removed to open up the center of the third floor for a reception area, kitchenette and lounge. While Dietz has repainted, upgraded the lighting and replaced flooring, there’s still the exposed brick and large timber beams original to the building.
He hired Design House Interiors of Wallingford to lay out the space. The company suggested the accent walls and central carpet that contrasts with the original wood floors.
“It’s supposed to have that ‘wow’ factor,” Dietz said.
He hopes to open in August.
The Abbey Park building, owned by Florian properties, is still home to Branford Hall as well as a host of other businesses.
Denis Guay, owner of Southington Coffee House, plans to open in the former Caffe Del Mondo location on the Abbey Park first floor. He’d heard about the renovations and the possibility of more businesses at the location.
The coffee house could open in mid August, according to Guay. The interior is nearly finished and he is waiting on permits for a new sign.
“Everything’s there. We’re just waiting on our espresso machine which is coming next week,” Guay said.
Dietz said he’s been reading about the business center concept and has looked at similar centers in the area. One in West Hartford charges for parking. Abbey Park is next to a large municipal lot.
“We have free parking and plenty of it,” Dietz said.