WHAT IT’S LIKE WORKING ON BELAIRE AVENUE
One of the best decisions my business partner and I ever made was moving our offices to 555 Belaire Avenue, the stylish new office building at Summit Pointe – the urban mixed-use community that’s become the gem of Coastal Virginia. (Of course, I might be a little biased, because not only do I work on Belaire Avenue but it’s also my home …)
I remember when we first sat down to talk about how we could expand our business and what we needed in a location to ensure our success. As we discussed what we needed – amenities to attract talented employees, a building with a high-end look and feel, easy access, nearby restaurants and attractions for entertaining clients – I mentioned the brand-new offices on Belaire Avenue. My experience living here and how much I enjoyed the sense of community also helped with the decision.
All of this struck a chord with us. Within a few months, a lease was signed, our space was being designed and we were moving into our new offices. Fast forward to today – we’re settled in and everyone agrees, working here is like a breath of fresh air.
Now, instead of leaving this amazing urban center every morning, I simply stroll along the south side of Belaire Avenue, and, in mere minutes, I’m at my office. (Maybe a bit longer if I stop for breakfast or a coffee!)
Another unexpected surprise – what a great mood walking to my office puts me in. I’ve seen Belaire Avenue grow from a few small shops – the retailers who were smart enough to get in early and get established, getting to know the new “locals” as we moved in – into a dining and shopping mecca.
Even before the offices started filling with top-notch businesses, Belaire Avenue had a professional feel to it, in part because the largest employer here by far is Dollar Tree. Their large, gleaming glass tower at the end of Belaire Avenue is beautiful! It’s like an amazing sculpture or a beacon, signaling to all of Coastal Virginia that marvelous adventures and events await at Summit Pointe.
So, you run into a lot of people who work at Dollar Tree and live in any one of the three urban communities – Mosaic, Helix (where I live) and The Belaire. They really added to the instant community feel, because many residents already knew each other and were very welcoming as new neighbors like us moved in!
Then other businesses started to join us in 555 Belaire Avenue. Tech, finance, healthcare, data – you name the industry, you’re likely to find it here. It makes for a diverse mix of professionals from very different backgrounds. (And that makes the networking cocktail hours they have here in our expansive two-story lobby the kind of events people actually look forward to.)
We see a lot of growth industries, like the start-up that took over one suite down the hall from our offices. We call them a start-up, but really they’re in that exciting growth-scaling-up phase. They needed the space for new hires, as well as an area with lots to do to attract top talent and entertain clients.
Summit Pointe has become a major destination – a vibrant cultural and urban center – for people throughout Chesapeake and the entire Coastal Virginia region. The businesses that locate here really want to be here, adding to the vibrancy of the community! It’s definitely a key part of our growth strategy – and I don’t think we’re the only ones. The other day, when my partner and I were discussing filling a new position, we both felt that our location was a huge draw for new hires.
Having happy employees is important, but another key factor is how many universities and community colleges are integral parts of Coastal Virginia communities. It makes it easier to find the educated, skilled professionals we need and to find continuing education opportunities for our employees.
It’s nice when we find someone who lives here at Summit Pointe, because it usually makes them incredibly reliable since they’re already nearby. On the other hand, anyone who commutes into Summit Pointe sees the mix of stores and restaurants as a big draw to be here during the day.
The drive in is easy. Parking is a breeze – it’s accessible and there’s plenty of it! Our employees can run errands, go shopping or go for a walk during lunch breaks. They can sit and relax in one of the pocket parks dotted throughout Summit Pointe. Some of my coworkers sign up for classes at the local fitness studios. Or, they might choose to meet friends for dinner after work. (These are all the same reasons why it’s a great location for wining and dining clients, too!)
The atmosphere of shopping and living here definitely spills over into working here, too. It’s that quality-of-life factor. There’s an ease that comes from having everything together in one place – entertainment, shopping (the stuff you need and the stuff you want), dining, and exercising.
When you have high-quality businesses that provide good jobs (not just for those living in Summit Pointe but for the greater Coastal Virginia area) and attract good people to the community, you strengthen that community.
It’s wonderful finding that balance – and that strength – between my work and my personal life. Now, Belaire Avenue is more than just where I live – and where I work – it’s a way of life.