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Ron Stutts:  Good morning.  It is eight 44.  97 nine on the hill starts here. We have a couple of special guests in our studio today. First of all, Erica Peril, general manager of the Daily Tar Heel is here.  Hello Erica. Good morning. It’s been a while since we talked.

Erica Perel:  That’s right. I’m glad to be here. Good to see you.

Ron Stutts:  And Gregg Gerdau is here.  He is the Community Director for Carolina Coworking.  How are Ya?

Gregg Gerdau:  I’m great, Ron.  Thank you for having us.

Ron Stutts:  Good Dude.  Good to see you. Gregg just happens to be my neighbor so we run into each other every now and then.  But first of all, Gregg, this conversation brought to you by Carolina Coworking.  Tell us about Carolina Coworking.  Exactly. What is it?

Gregg Gerdau:  Carolina Coworking is in downtown Chapel Hill, on West Franklin Street across from the Target.  There is 8,000 square feet of flexible office space.  We have month to month private offices, coworking desks, a conference center, a really nice kitchen and I make great coffee every morning.

Ron Stutts:  Well tell us a little bit about the history.  I think a lot of us have been hearing a lot about Carolina Coworking and certainly appreciate your sponsoring our six o’clock hour on this show.  But to do it, how did it all come about?

Gregg Gerdau:  Carolina Coworking was a dream of mine because the university is an anchor institution, but there is no graduation space for people who leave the university or finish their research and want to either continue to work or perhaps don’t want to work on campus.  The availability of a flexible office space in Chapel Hill was almost zero.  There was a little bit, but it isn’t really great and there’s nothing close to campus. When the opportunity came with a flexible landlord for me to take that space I jumped right on in, because it’s right in the middle of everything.  That was about nine months ago.  We opened it October of last year.

Ron Stutts:  Well, Erica, I know there’s a special connection between the Daily Tar Heel and Carolina Coworking and we’ll get to that in just a second.  But first of all, general question, how are things at the Daily Tar Heel for you all these days?

Erica Perel:  We just started our new publishing year last week.  And we have a brand new team of student journalists, student add sales reps and student a content creators for 1893 Brand Studio and they’re really excited to move us ahead.  Here at the DTH we are really working on transforming ourselves from legacy media to a new kind of news organization that meets the needs of readers no matter where they are, who they are.  And we’re really excited to be doing it.

Ron Stutts:  It’s always exciting at the beginning of the academic year anyway.  Well good things that the Daily Tar Heel and I appreciate your being here this morning.  Gregg, if you would, before we get to Erica’s part in all of this, tell us a little bit more about the workspace and the amenities for people who might be interested in getting involved with this.

Gregg Gerdau: Thank you very much, Ron.  The workspace is all brand new. It’s all very nicely decorated and it’s not clubby.  It’s sophisticated and for professionals who want an easy place to work.  The coworking space is wide open.  It’s all designed to be what we call sit-stand so that if you’re tired of sitting, you can use a stand up conference room and standup meeting spaces.  You will love this!  You and I being two of the taller gentlemen in town.

Ron Stutts:         This is one of us.  Anyway. Gregg is a very tall guy by the way.  You can’t see him, but you know.

Gregg Gerdau    We have a conference center holds about 35 people and it can be rented for an hour or for a day.  And it is part of the deal if you’re rent a private office, then you get priority for the conference center.  Some of the other amenities are laser printing, really good Wi-Fi, and there’s also campus Wi-Fi if you need that.  And we’re right in the middle of restaurant row.  So there’s, whatever food you might like or want or need at any time of day or night, within a short walk.  You don’t have to get in a car from there.

Ron Stutts: A lot of great restaurants.  They’re all within walking distance as you said. No Erica, I understand the DTH has been using Carolina Coworking over the summer.  Why and how have your teams utilize this space? Tell us what it means to you.

Erica Perel:  So you know, we’re downtown neighbors.  The DTH also has an office on Franklin Street.  We’re excited to kind of be neighbors with Carolina Coworking.  We were in a little bit of a pinch over the summer when we had some work happening on our building and we relocated to Carolina Coworking for the week.  Our whole team came.  Having UNC Wi-Fi was a huge help for our students because it was very seamless for them.  We just brought our laptops and everything worked. And then two weeks ago when we were doing our training week, we had our editor’s retreat in their Conference Center.  That was just a really great opportunity for us to bring in about 25 students.  The day before they didn’t really know each other that well.  By the end of the day they were, laughing, talking, really brainstorming coverage for the year and it was just a really great collaborative space for our team to kind of have their pre school year bonding.

Ron Stutts:  It’s wonderful to have that kind of space and that kind of ambiance where you can feel free to be creative.  And you know, we do a lot of talking about entrepreneurial ventures in our community and Gregg, how do interested entrepreneurs get in touch with you and find out more?

Gregg Gerdau:  On our website which is Carolinacoworking.com.  Our rates and prices and pictures of all the space and descriptions are all there.  You can also stop by at any time during the week and talk to me and I’ll be happy to give a tour.  It’s a two oh six west Franklin Street right behind Might as Well bar.  A lot of people know where Might as Well is and we’re right behind it.

Ron Stutts:   And that website address again is CarolinaCoworking.com.  Fantastic. Find out more. Gregg Gerdau is his name.  Erica Peril is her name.  And Erica, again, thank you for coming in this morning as well.

Erica Perel:  It’s my pleasure.  Thank you.

Ron Stutts:  All right, good to talk to both of you.  And anything else you want to tell people that we haven’t covered?

Gregg Gerdau:  Well, we just want to say being downtown has been unbelievably interesting, especially discovering the 1893 brand studio and the Daily Tar Heel.  She’s one of the biggest employers in Chapel Hill other than the university. And they have a range of capabilities that we’ve been delighted to find out more about.

Ron Stutts:  Fantastic.  Well, Erica, good work, Gregg, same to you.  Thanks for making all this happen. It is eight 51. This is 97 nine.  The Hill.