Seek serenity at this downtown entrepreneurial oasis
Sitting next to a circular orb shifting in color between magenta, green, and orange, we learned about the blending of health and wellness in the workplace. The person speaking with us is Lisa Skye Hain, co-founder of Primary, the first ever co-working space that provides wellness amenities within arm's reach of your laptop. Several years ago, Lisa had a vision. The vision consisted of a realization that wellness of the body and mind is what helped her and her partner Brian Hain excel in their work and in their lives. This is when they hatched a plan that would later rope in their third co-founder Danny Orenstein. The three of them got started on renovations of the space, located on Broadway in the Financial District, which recently opened for business.
Primary is an ambitious undertaking, with 66 offices and over 100 seats of co-working. When taking a tour through the hallways, it's easy to get lost in the many types of environments. We saw a yoga studio, a cafe, a quiet area, hidden conference rooms, meanwhile passing by beautiful green plants and the ever-present orbs of light. And yes, the cafe has all the healthy choices that you would expect of a wellness spa.
Lisa has her priorities straight. Her most important focus is on "each other", followed by customers, proveyers (vendors), community, and profitability. She talks in a smooth, calming voice, and goes out of her way to get to know all newcomers to the space. Her prior experience has set her up for success, as she used to run community for WeWork in its early days. WeWork led in many innovations, such as window-enclosed offices, so even if you're staying late at work, you can glance up across all the offices in the hallway, seeing if anyone else is sharing in your hustle. Primary has accomplished the same thing. With a slightly curved hallway, it has the feel of an "infinity room" (a room with windows for walls).
The team has partnered with a multitude of vendors to provide artwork, custom furniture, green walls, moss walls, plants, coffee, and juice. They now host 30+ fitness classes per week. They've got in-house body therapy practitioners, such as massage therapists, a chiropractor, and an acupuncturist. There's nothing quite like it.
After taking the tour, we felt refreshed after retreating back to our fabric-laden chairs. We can't wait to see what the future will bring for this hidden paradise.