(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
A coworking community is forming downtown across from the Baltimore Convention Center.
Homebase is opening this fall with 3,000 sq. ft. of space on the fourth floor of 300 W. Pratt St.
On a recent tour, Director of Operations Simien Antonis Parr said the space has six single offices and three two-person offices. There’s also open desk space with room for 10 more people. Members can also get access to meeting rooms and a kitchen area, and it boasts a fast WiFi connection.
It’s the latest space in Baltimore showing that coworking’s flexible office arrangements are appealing to a variety of industries. Companies such as Wix and DeviantArt are already populating the space, and Parr said he’s received interest from others working in construction, legal and finance, along with technologists and designers that are often linked with coworking.
Originally from the Baltimore area, Parr has worked out of coworking spaces in Orlando, New York and D.C., while working with tech companies over the last decade. So he’s had a variety of experiences and conversations with other members about working in a shared, flexible office space. In leading the effort to create Homebase along with building owner ValStone Partners, Parr said he sought to pay attention to the details that would help the space stand out.
“We wanted to offer a little bit more of a boutique style for the space,” Parr said.
That played out with furniture choices, which included opting for standing desks from Fully. It also played out in how the space is organized. For instance, in the open desk area, Parr wanted to create delineation between spaces, rather than having one large table.
“With the open workspaces, we put in single tables, where the space is defined,” he said.
Yet the focus remains on creating a community. Parr said he wants to open up amenities to all people working in the space. A big aim is creating connections that can help businesses move forward, and Parr said he’s looking to foster an environment where he and members have conversations about what they’re working on and how he might help.
The trial period also has a little extra care taken. In an effort to help members get a fuller look at the space, Homebase is offering three consecutive days of free coworking.
Another Homebase is expected to open in the near future. Parr said a second space will open in Woodberry’s Clipper Mill around the end of the year. Atana is already working out of space there, as construction on the coworking space finishes up.
Both spaces are located near light rail stops, so it’ll be interesting to see if connectivity between the two develops, as well.
It’s another sign of coworking growth in Baltimore. Homebase joins Stadium Square’s Spaces and Lauraville’s Function as new coworking spaces in Baltimore. WeWork also announced recently plans to open its first Baltimore space at Harbor Point in 2020.-30-
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