New commercial rental spaces offer the kind of upscale and polished executive ambience that often isn't found in the city, let alone the region, but the Falls at Water Tower Square may be an early step in Williamsport becoming a cosmopolitan business community.
"I think it's awesome. Williamsport has nothing like this," said Joan Dunkleberger, of the Rennie Roadarmel Agency as she took a tour of the site with other local business people and residents.
The Falls is the brainstorm of Keith Eck, owner and developer of the project. True to its name, the site includes a waterfall, a 180-foot skylight, but also 28 office spaces. Water Tower Square has been a work in progress for more than a decade when the former C.C. Reed factory building began undergoing transformation from an old industrial site to a modern commercial venue.
The Falls, which take up the upper two floors of Water Tower Square, are kind of the icing on the cake.
"We were looking for the 'wow factor' which I think we accomplished," Eck said.
Eck said he purposely was looking to bring the sort of sophisticated, modern ambience to the project that can be found in larger metropolitan areas.
"I think it's time Williamsport got something like this," he said. "There's nothing like it."
Eck would not disclose how much money he invested for The Falls, though he clarifies, he's taking a bit of a risk.
But as he put it: "There's always risks involved" in business ventures.
Several conference rooms, a lounge area, and coffee and soda bar are some of the amenities that businesses locating within the offices spaces can utilize.
Judy Sarett, owner of M.E. Kaplan and Sons, marveled at the picturesque scenes The Falls offers of the surrounding city, the nearby Susquehanna River and the bicycle path.
"It makes you proud of the city," she said. "I'm amazed at the view."
Overall, she said it's a "very well done."
Eck pointed out the high ceilings and windows which bring plenty of natural light into the building. Jerry Walls, former Lycoming County Planning Commission director, lauded the project for its green initiatives.
The building includes an effluent-fueled geothermal heat pump system as well as LED lighting.
William Smedley said he feels The Falls is a great place for his advertising business, Adwave 65. Smedley, who co-owns the business with his wife Danielle, is among the first tenants signing on for space at The Falls.
"I think it's going to be a huge success," he said of Eck's project.
Eck said Water Tower Square offers a great location, minutes from downtown Williamsport, as well as Interstate 180 and the Williamsport Regional Airport.
In addition, more than a dozen hotels are within a 3-mile radius.