By GREGORY ZELLER //
That jingle-jangle you hear in Southampton comes from The Spur, the private co-working and entrepreneur’s club that’s moseyed into a new summer home.
After a six-month stint in its “winter home” at the Southampton Social Club, The Spur – a manifestation of i-hamptons, a Southampton-based “community and resource guide” for East End entrepreneurs – has relocated to 280 Elm St. in Southampton, the circa-1884 seed-and-feed barn at the Long Island Rail Road’s Southampton station.
It’s another temporary stop on the road to The Spur’s permanent home (coming soon, more below), but the co-working club’s two-step was expected, according to founder Ashley Heather, who launched his networking-heavy East End co-working space in January.
“We always knew we’d have to find a new home while we’re still building out the final home,” Heather, also the creator of New York City digital boutique White Space Group, told Innovate LI. “We were in the (Southampton) Social Club for the off-season, but they are in season now.”
Known as “Spur @ The Station,” the summer home makes for an extremely cool layover: Rocker Billy Joel once stored his pianos there, according to Heather, among other claims to fame.
The site features a working freight elevator and “a lot of history,” added Heather, who nearly chose the barn as The Spur’s permanent home.
“This was the initial building we looked to buy,” he said. “It’s a beautiful space.”
And it’s been made more beautiful for Spur @ The Station, which officially opened May 4 with a weeklong open house to show off its renovated innards.
It’s a professional space, to be sure – desks and conference spaces abound and there are business-friendly bells aplenty, ranging from a communal 100-square-foot whiteboard to a fully functional media studio (content editing and sound recording) to a weekly series of innovation-focused workshops.
There’s also a daily lunch service for busy entrepreneurs, staffed guest-reception services and access to administrative, marketing and tech support for early-stage enterprises.
But it’s the whistle-wetting fringe benefits that make Spur @ The Station so unique, noted Heather, who referenced his club’s motto (“Work, Play, Learn”) and labeled the summer space “kind of your favorite living room ever.”
Among the creature comforts are complimentary continental breakfast on weekdays, monthly art shows curated by Iron Gate East, weekend i-kids programming (emphasizing science and tech skills, ideal for entrepreneurs with families), a flexible-seating lounge for up to 200 members and guests and Spur @ The Station’s pièce de résistance: a fully functional, BYOB wet bar that gives the professional club an entirely different aesthetic, according to Heather.
“We built out the bar and it kind of created the environment,” he said. “Work, Play, Learn – those are our three pillars, and having the ability to host an event and entertain clients is such an important part of the atmosphere.”
There’s plenty of room for new members at The Spur’s summer home. Heather counted 124 individual club members to date and said Spur @ The Station could comfortably accommodate as many as 150.
That opening-week open house was “well-attended,” and the founder said he expects membership rolls to increase over the summer.
As cool as Spur @ The Station is, Heather and other club members are eagerly awaiting the completion of The Spur’s permanent home, a 15,000-square-foot space at 630 Hampton Road that will not only boast room enough for 500 individual members, but could serve as a blueprint for other co-working spaces/entrepreneur’s clubs in other affluent national corners, where such business-building resources are usually scarce.
During the January opening, Heather told Innovate LI he could imagine the formula replicating in “resort towns around America,” among other places. But as the sun rises on Summer 2018, the focus is on completing 630 Hampton Road – “It’s a really big building project, so ideally, early fall,” Heather said – and on a spectacular season ahead.
“We’re very pleased with [how things have developed],” Heather added. “Spur @ The Station is a really beautiful place to invite your friends and do business.”