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Leesburg Junction brings collaboration downtown

Instagram/@LeesburgJunction
Drew Clyde is a man with a mission. Part of that mission includes serving as leader of Headway Church, while the other part is to bring the community together in a new workspace environment called Leesburg Junction.

While the two entities are separate, they come with the same general theme -- to help connect people and serve the community.

As pastor at Headway Church, Clyde and his team found the former Loudoun County Parks and Recreation building on Depot Street in Leesburg available for lease two years
ago. They moved in to the first floor and began conceptualizing how they could grow their vision for bringing people together.

“We are about creating a culture that is different. It is the community of people that makes it so valuable to be a part of it,” Clyde said.

Clyde grew up in Loudoun County, a graduate of Park View High School in Sterling, and then went on to graduate from James Madison University and seminary school. He worked at a prison fellowship for about seven years and served twice as pastor at a church in Gaithersburg, Md., before coming back to Loudoun to start Headway Church with his wife, Dawn, and their five children. They have now lived in Leesburg for 12 years.

“I always had a vision to find a space to celebrate the arts, invest in people and serve the community, not just as a church building,” Clyde said.

Due to rising costs for leased office space, shared work space opportunities are popping up around Loudoun and are providing small businesses with other options and solutions than a traditional workplace.

Co-working spaces allow multiple companies to be housed in the same building, with shared space options ranging from renting a single desk, private office, multiple offices as well as meeting rooms. At Leesburg Junction, member businesses receive fully furnished spaces, the ability to use shared equipment a common network, a mailbox and business address, private parking and have access to event rental areas for larger gatherings.

Clyde partnered with Jack O'Donnell, who manages the building, to create the overall vision and partnership they seek to benefit the community.

A new addition to Leesburg Junction is a community space on the first level, which is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. People are welcome to come in, work, talk and meet with friends and colleagues, while enjoying snacks and beverages that are available on the honor system. All proceeds from sales in the snack area and in Leesburg Junction gear will be going to support Loudoun Hunger Relief and Mobile Hope.

In the space at Leesburg Junction, there are tables and desks, along with comfortable sofas and chairs around the bright room, and Clyde hopes bikers and runners on the W&OD trail, people looking to meet for coffee, or anyone looking for a place to work for a few hours can come in and enjoy the space for free.

On the second and third levels of the building, businesses can rent desk and office space in a more private setting.

Leesburg Junction is set up as a nonprofit organization to serve the community, Clyde said.

“We hope to make a difference in each other's lives and make a difference in the community," he said.

What sets Leesburg Junction apart from other co-working offices is that Clyde aims to create a culture that is different. “This is a place where you are inspired and equipped to be innovative and creative. This positivity lends itself to growing businesses or nonprofits,” Clyde said.

Clyde hopes to support small businesses by connecting them and providing professional development to help business owners at the junction to thrive.

Leesburg Junction hosts regular events and wants to especially highlight and celebrate the arts. There is a regular speaker series, Final Friday of the month art galleries, and performances by local musicians.

Clyde said they are intentionally affordable in order to be more accessible to small businesses or nonprofit organizations.

“We want to be excellent at supporting them, but at the same time, they know they are part of something bigger here. I feel really good and excited about where we are at,” he said.

Instagram/@LeesburgJunction


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