Co-working at The Link Offers A Local Vibe and Plenty of Work Space

The crisp white and black exterior of The Link at 215 N. Payne Street. (Photo: Susan McLain Sullivan)

Alexandria, VA – While office space continues to evolve, most still exude an impersonal air of silent elevator rides and reflective towering steel with one-way glass walls. The atmosphere at The Link at 215 N. Payne defies the norm in its wellness-infused vibe meets office-space functionality. The converted former Chec Soda factory space offers a fresh take on productivity.

“It is kind of like modern architecture meets industrial” with its exposed brick walls and sleek black metal railings and trim surrounding the central open core of the first floor with a two-story high custom ceiling,” said Timothy Marsico, director of The Link, noting the building is in Parker Gray Neighborhood and located only 1.5 blocks off King Street. “We get a lot of compliments on the ceiling with people saying it flows with the space really well.” The clientele ranges from accountants, engineers, interior designers, lawyers, physical therapists, photographers, and real estate managers like himself.

Rachel Kay Pettitt, assistant director of marketing; Robert “Bob” Pizzano, owner of The Link; and Timothy Marsico, director and accountant. (Photo: Susan McLain Sullivan)

Entering the neat white brick building with black letters, Co-working @ THE LINK in Old Town, the front door opens to a full-length view of the main floor. Visitors sense a remarkable change of pace from the suit, heels, and elevator offerings about town. This view of the office reveals spaces filled with people strolling around, brief stairs leading to a short hallway of clear-glass walls, and door units leading to private large and small conference rooms, all steps away from a workout gym.

Downstairs, the central building offers a large flex space of colorful (but not distracting) upholstered booths with tables, a galley-style kitchenette stocked with drinks and snacks, and an atmosphere of focused work in progress with a congenial vibe. That neighborhood friendliness might arise from the fact that many of the office users live in the immediate vicinity and enjoy the ability to walk to work when they choose.

Building owner Robert “Bob” Pizzano said his office as a contractor is headquartered just a few blocks away at Prince and S Patrick streets. He added that “70% of the people who work here live in the neighborhood” of The Link, most within one mile. Pizzano also directs the BEST (Building Employment Solutions Together) Training Facility, which does light housekeeping training at The Link on Thursdays through Service Source.

“This is a great space,” said Kari Ginsburg, a certified professional & life coach. “I used this space in a number of ways—virtual, as a business address, and I recently increased my membership to co-working where I don’t have an assigned desk (in the flex space area). “Absolutely, I have never not had space, and I like to reach out to make my space,” she said, laughingly sweeping her right hand in large circles.

Ginsburg said she has been a member of The Link since January 2023. She said she enjoys meeting people who drop by to work, adding, “You never know who will be here.”

Robert “Bob” Pizzano, owner of The Link, pauses in The Link’s kitchenette. (Photo: Susan McLain Sullivan)

The ramps make the facility ADA-accessible and lead to all building amenities. The building has indoor and outdoor gym spaces, a sauna, indoor and outdoor showers, and five trainers available. An outdoor patio space also allows for a break at small tables, bar stools, and a covered picnic bench.

“We have a strong emphasis on health and welfare,” Marsico said, adding that the space leases trainers whose complete sets of workout gear line the walls of a large area—with closed and open-air sections for exercising and stretching.

Kari Ginsburg works in the flex-space hub of The Link. (Photo: Susan McLain Sullivan)

Inside, just a few feet from the building’s entry from the private parking lot, are closet-sized private phone booths with clear glass fronts that signal people at work. The co-working space is like a melting pot of Alexandria and non-Alexandria residents. In all, the 12,000-square-foot building that also offers large and small conference rooms (28 seats and eight seats, respectively) aims to please any business.

“Realistically, any type of person and any type of business could operate from this facility,” he said, adding that he plans to host Chamber of Commerce events at The Link. “We have what I call an Alexandria vibe—laid back and friendly,” said Marsico.

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