The Ceres Chamber of Commerce has recently signed a new lease to rent the space at 2904 Fourth Street in downtown Ceres. The move will offer more space to the Chamber and will allow for the opening of the city's first co-op building downtown.
The Chamber is subleasing office space to other businesses that just need an office and the amenities of a conference room and reception area.
The Chamber moved to downtown Fourth Street in November of 2013 after several years of leasing space at the Ceres Unified School District on Lawrence Avenue. For the past two years the Chamber has been nestled between two retail spaces in a 12-foot by 12-foot office. The new space will offer 1,800 square feet, a conference room, heat and air, break room and bathrooms -- amenities the Chamber has lived without for the past few years.
The Chamber is in the process of signing lease agreements with Meyer CPR, a local CPR training business, and a Turlock therapist that meets with clients and needs minimal office space.
The Chamber is working to contract to have a part-time wine tasting bar to feature area vintners, including Ceres' own Winery Bronco Wine Company.
"We got the idea after visiting the Lodi Visitors Bureau during our board of directors retreat late last year," said Chamber President Renee Ledbetter. For the past several months the Chamber has been looking for a location that would meet the needs of the concept.
The office space is known as the former Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children building at the corner of Fourth and North streets.
"We really believe this type of building will help accommodate small business owners who need a professional presence and who are looking for more on-street visibility. This is a win-win for all of the businesses partnering with the Chamber and for the Chamber itself. We get the space we need at a cost that is well within our budget."
The co-op will offset the rent increase allowing the Chamber's expenses to go up only by a few hundred dollars.
The Chamber hopes to have the office open by the first week in June and will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting of its own shortly thereafter. This space will also allow for those businesses that do not have a public location to hold their grand openings or ribbon cuttings in the new Chamber setting.