The Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce has a new office in a building that has not seen much use since the Maytag era. While there is still remodeling work to do, executive director Amanda Price has been able to set up shop in the old front entrance of the washing machine company’s headquarters since April.
Located at 403 W. Fourth St. N. Suite 101, the new chamber of commerce office is in the heart of Legacy Plaza, which is an area of town furnished with historic Maytag buildings owned by DMACC. The buildings have since been repurposed for other businesses and multi-million-dollar developments.
Price said the move to the new office is partly because the downtown location was too big for the chamber. In the past, the chamber shared the office with Newton Main Street, which allowed both entities to use their board room. After Main Street left, all that was left was Price and her assistant.
“There’s really no reason why we need that huge building, because we had the entire upstairs and it is just a lot of square footage,” Price said in an interview with the Newton News. “Plus the utilities costs were high because it’s a large building to heat and cool. Financially, it didn’t make sense to stay.”
Of course, there were additional perks moving to Legacy Plaza, with the main one being close proximity to the chamber’s common community partners. City of Newton, Newton Main Street and Newton Development Corporation all have offices in the adjacent buildings.
Partnerships and collaborations are just a short walk away, and Price said sometimes in-person meetings in the courtyard or elsewhere are better.
“Between me and Erin (Yeager), the Main Street director, it’s so much easier for us to meet up with each other and have quick meetings or talk about stuff we need to talk about,” Price said. “With all the new developments that are happening down here, too, it’s kind of awesome to be a part of all that.”
On May 22, DMACC announced it had sold almost four acres of the Legacy Plaza campus to Christensen Development, which has proposed to renovate a number of historic Maytag headquarters buildings into a 58-room hotel and a 70-unit, market-rate apartment community for $35 million.
Whenever there is something new and exciting happening in town, Price said it is nice for the chamber to go to that space and be a part of that growth. The chamber’s office had been in downtown for a very long time, but the change in venue is refreshing, Price said.
The Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce’s role in the community is to welcome new businesses and facilitate relationships with other businesses. Price considers the chamber the “meeter” and the “connector” of the community. The chamber wants to keep the connections going to make for a more thriving city.
With the new office, Price is going to continue that role and making new connections with the businesses coming to Legacy Plaza.
“There are a lot of people working here, and there are a lot of people coming and going,” Price said. “There are a lot of out-of-town people that are coming through here because of the businesses and because of the city and NDC and Main Street being here. So I think it’s important for us to show a united front, too.”
The space formerly occupied by the Chamber at 113 First Ave. W. is for sale.