FROM CLASSICAL TO COWORKING: Greenville joins the craze with Nucleus Uptown, a business hub in a former music school.

Author:Blake, Kathy

Inside a former music school building in uptown Greenville, a real estate investor, a snack vendor, a medical technology employee and a college senior dabbling in the stock market gather and work separately, though closely congregated. The kitchen is stocked with free coffee and snacks, a sitting area with comfy couches and chairs has tabletop outlets for computers and phones, and the open, airy design encourages socializing and networking outside private, sound-proof offices.

Nucleus Uptown is Greenville's first coworking space, a trend giving freelancers, entrepreneurs and other businesspeople an alternative to working remotely from a coffee shop, bookstore or their living room sofa.

Richard Dalyai, a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon at Vidant Medical Group, and his wife, Catherine, bought the former Wright School of Music building on Evans Street in January for $560,000. Richard says the couple spent about $95,000 on renovations before opening the coworking space in August. Catherine, a nurse practitioner with Vidant, manages Nucleus Uptown's day-to-day operations.

"We wanted to do something exciting and bring something to the community since there really wasn't any coworking in Greenville," Catherine says. "The location couldn't be more perfect. It's right across from Five Points Plaza in the uptown area, so if you want to take a break from work and take a walk and see what's going on, it's right there."

Nucleus opened Aug. 5. By late September, it had 10 members. "It's really a mix of people with their own businesses, but we see a lot of freelancers as well," she says. "The majority are people with startups and small businesses. We're not focused on one type of person--it's just anyone who wants to come work in a supportive atmosphere."

Membership is $155 per month with access to all amenities, and $460 to $740 per month for private- and small-office spaces. The location is within walking distance to restaurants, breweries, art shops and East Carolina University, where nearly 29,000 students are enrolled as of late September. Tenants use an app on their phones to access the building at all hours. Parking is available for an additional charge.

It's a good match with ECU's new degree program in entrepreneurship, which had 85 students at its September debut and 100 more in its certificate courses. The degree requires 120 semester hours and includes an array of courses such as financial and managerial accounting, money management, new venture...

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