(Photo courtesy Imapct Hub Baltimore/by Shannon Wallace)
Will every neighborhood have a coworking space?
It’s a question we’ve been playfully asking around the newsroom each time a new space opens in Baltimore. It’s a city of neighborhoods, after all, and the calculus of setting up a new space in this city usually involves stimulating growth on the blocks where they’re based.
Along with flexible leases and cheaper rent, coworking spaces employ a uniquely local model: They’re one part workspace, drawing folks in to base a business at the earliest stages of growth and get stuff done outside of a home office. And they’re one part community hub, playing host to entrepreneurial events, bookstores and community meetings that draw beyond their membership.
In Baltimore, it’s been a particularly local enterprise. With only a few exceptions, most coworking spaces in the city were started by folks who call it home.
Yet it’s also worth remembering that coworking is relatively new. Beehive Baltimore launched in 2008, and most of the growth has been in the last five years. We saw more expansion this year to indicate that’s continuing, but that’s coming with new spins on the genre. Some have a particular industry, while others have a specific preference for private offices alongside community space. Going forward, we expect that evolution to continue. As with any new approach, where you start might not be where you end up.
But, as the decade closes, let’s take a look at what Baltimore has to offer. Consider it a snapshot of a moment in flexible space time, and, if you’re looking for a space, an easy way to compare what’s out there.
101 N. Haven St., Baltimore Highlands
Located within the Baltimore Development Corp.-backed ETC (Emerging Technology Centers), the city’s original coworking space remains a hive of tech activity six years after moving from Canton to N. Haven Street in what’s now called Highland Forge. Colocated with ETC’s incubator programs and regular events, it’s a prime place to catch the buzz in the community. Plus, there’s an underground science space in the same building, and it shares a parking lot with Monument City Brewing and Urban Axes. (Full disclosure, this is also Technical.ly Baltimore’s home base.)
Notable amenities: Monthly happy hours, free parking, fitness room, conference room
Size: 19,100 square feet
Price: Freelance Bee $75/month, Worker Bee $175/month, Bumble Bee $275/month, Honey Bee $375/month
101 W. Dickman St., Port Covington
Along with its incubator and academy programs, coworking is part of the equation at Betamore. Originally at the corner of Light and Cross streets in Federal Hill, the tech hub is now based at the center of Port Covington’s City Garage. Opened in 2017, the space puts the tech startups working there in the same building as The LaunchPort medical device accelerator and Under Armour’s Lighthouse, working on the future of manufacturing.
Notable amenities: Free admission to events, free onsite parking
Size: 14,387 square feet
Price: $30 day pass, $190/month coworking, $425/month dedicated desk, $1,000+/month private office
3700 O’Donnell St., Brewers Hill
Natty Boh Tower is growing as a destination for tech startups and creative firms, so it’s only natural that the building would have a coworking option. Brewers Hill Hub has a mix of offices, suites and desks. Plus, the roof deck has prime views of the harbor — and Mr. Boh.
Notable amenities: Microbrews, roof deck, game room, onsite daycare
Size: About 24,000 square feet
Price: Single desk $275/month, private offices range from $720-$1,100/month, suites range from $2,140 to $4,965/month
2526 St. Paul St., Charles Village
Opened in late 2013, this space inside a former rowhouse is tailor-made for freelancers who need a desk away from home. Along with tech types, it’s also inviting to writers and other small business owners.
Notable amenities: Phone booth, full bathroom with shower for cyclists, unlimited coffee
Size: 900 square feet
Price: Flexible rental packages starting at $300/month, $290/month for six months and $275/month annually
1014 W. 36th Street, Hampden
In April, coworking gained an address on The Avenue, as Co-Balt Workspace opened in Hampden. It’s also one of the most distinctive destinations: Many of the spaces on this list are inside repurposed spaces, but there aren’t any others that used to be a church. Dating to 1899, the building is now home to small firms and entrepreneurs.
Notable amenities: Historic space, plus plenty of coffee, food and drinks in walking distance on The Avenue
Size: 12,000 square feet
Price: Coworking from $99/month; assigned desk from $250/month; offices from $450/month
12 W. Madison St., Mt. Vernon; 1724 W. Maryland Ave., Station North
Since debuting its initial location in 2015 at the house that John Pendleton Kennedy built in Mt. Vernon, the Par Collective’s Co-OP has provided space for companies and expanded its footprint. A second location in Station North came online in 2017. They’re both geared toward growing companies that are ready to get out of the incubator, and get stuff done.
Notable amenities: Indoor biking storage, 24/7 access, outdoor patio, furniture package included
Size: 28,000 square feet
Price: Private offices available starting at $495/month (Maryland Avenue), $800/month (two-person) private office (Madison Street)
2209 Maryland Ave., Old Goucher
Opened in March 2016, this design-forward coworking space is owned and created by Megan Elcrat and Philip Jones of architecture firm 33:Design. The space features a mix of coworking, private offices, breakout areas and a conference room with a roll-up garage door. In late 2017, it also added a design bookstore to the neighborhood.
Notable amenities: Personable lighting, handicap accessible restrooms with shower and baby stations included.
Size: 4,000 square feet (and a basement renovation may soon put it at 5,500 square feet)
Price: The Single at $250/month, The L Space at $350/month, The Office at $450/month
1100 Wicomico St.
More than 100 years after opening, 1100 Wicomico is emerging once again as a hub for businesses in Southwest Baltimore. Alongside manufacturing, design, robotics and consumer product tenants, coworking is also part of the offerings. Along with the shared workspace itself, tenants also get access amenities throughout the building.
Notable amenities: Building includes 5-bay loading dock, freight elevators, cafe.
Price: Hot desk $150/month, dedicated desk $225/month, private offices $250-$515/month.
6905 York Rd., Stoneleigh
Opened in 2016, this coworking space is designed to help parents get stuff done. That means onsite babysitting. Cofounders Dr. Tammira Lucas and TeKesha Jamison also set up resources to help parent entrepreneurs on the business side, as well.
Notable amenities: Babysitting services, monthly manicures
Size: 1,200 square feet
Price: Memberships range from $25 to $285/month
5520 Research Park Drive Suite #100
Located within the bwtech@UMBC Cyber Incubator, founders and student interns have access to the CyberHive coworking space. The space is designed to position startups near entrepreneurs in residence, potential strategic partners and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, which itself is a hub for cybersecurity.
Notable amenities: Free parking, cafeteria
Size: 525,000 square feet
Price: $335/month for companies with up to three people; larger companies may request office space at bwtech
1812: 1812 Ashland Ave., East Baltimore; R. House: 301 W. 29th St., Remington; FastForward U: 320 W 29th St #200, Remington
Johns Hopkins identified space as a key component to its plans to create a university-wide innovation ecosystem, and the square footage dedicated to startups founded by faculty and students has expanded. The university now boasts innovation hubs at its hospital campus in East Baltimore, and close to its Homewood campus in Remington. FastForward U Homewood, which is the most recent addition, supports student entrepreneurs through grant funding, and an in-house accelerator where they train, learn, and further develop their skills.
Notable amenities: Access to legal, accounting and fundraising experts; storage areas
Size: 23,000 square feet (8,000 in office space and 15,000 in wet lab/shared equipment) at FastForward 1812, 9,000 square feet at FastForward R. House
11 Center Pl., Dundalk
After pop-up experiments in the Southeast Baltimore County community’s town center, the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation opened a full-fledged incubator in October 2018. It’s aiming to help small businesses grow, and take advantage of the retail space.
Price: Day pass $15, community space $50/day, hot desk $125/15 days, dedicated desk $150/month
4709 Harford Rd., Lauraville
Lisa Frank and Gene Ward set out to generate new activity on the main street area in Northeast Baltimore’s Hamilton-Lauraville area. With Function, they created a home for new businesses, filled with private offices and vibrant common areas that extend out into a courtyard. It’s also a space for the neighborhood. For the working artists in the area, a large gallery and multi-purpose space has regular shows, and art can be found on the walls throughout the building. It’s also providing meeting space for community associations.
Notable amenities: Lockers, online reservations
Size: 11,000 square feet (on two floors) in total
Price: One-day memberships at $30/month, six days at $150/month, 12 days at $250/month, full-time at $450/month
875 Hollins St.
The University of Maryland BioPark opened this space in Southwest Baltimore in late 2017, which provides short-term space for university-based entrepreneurs and companies to launch new commercial ventures. The GRID also offers business development services to tenants and entrepreneurs from around the community, and it’s a place where University of Maryland, Baltimore graduate students can mix with entrepreneurs and access programs that help them advance new social and commercial ventures.
Size: 6,300 square feet of dedicated office and shared space.
Price: Variable, offices start at $350/month
2021-G Pulaski Highway, Havre de Grace, MD
Havre de Grace is home to this coworking space that offers entrepreneurs and technologists in Harford County space to work, and build community. Operated by the Harford County Office of Economic Development at Swan Lake Village, it offers resources to grow businesses, as well, with access to mentors and programming onsite.
Notable amenities: Free parking, tech-enabled training room
Size: 2,800 square feet
Price: Three tiers ranging from $100 to 300/month
701 E. Pratt St., Inner Harbor
Nestled inside Columbus Center in the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, this incubator quickly became a home for green and biotech startups, as well as a place to learn about how business and science mix. Alongside a mix of office space, there are also wet labs at this life sciences startup-focused space. And don’t forget the harbor views.
Notable amenities: Mentoring, fitness room, near marine research in other parts of the building
Price: Affiliate coworking at $200/month
300 West Pratt St., Inner Harbor
In fall 2018, Baltimore’s commercial center added a coworking space with Homebase. With a mix of private offices and open workspace, the focus is on creating a community where businesses can help each other move forward. Plus, the central location boasts plenty of nearby amenities and transportation. A second location is expected to be fully up and running at Woodberry’s Clipper Mill in the near future.
Notable amenities: Car charging stations, lobby concierge
Size: 3,000 square feet
Price: Flexbase (unreserved) $300/month, Workbase (reserved) $400/month, Singlebase (private office) $750/month
217 N. Charles St.
Profiles Staffing Agency opened this space in the former Downtown Partnership of Baltimore offices in 2016. Members have access to the resources they provide, and the spaces on offer include a mix of private workstations and corporate offices.
Notable amenities: Kitchen, common area
Price: Dedicated desk $350/month, private office $550, large office $900/month, window-front corporate space $900/month
10 E. North Ave., Station North
Coworking in the geographic center of town brings together startups looking to create social change. Founded by Michelle Geiss, Pres Adams and Rodney Foxworth, the space inside the Centre Theatre has become a gathering point for social entrepreneurs, artists, nonprofits and policymakers. There’s coworking, 14 offices and ample community space. Over the past few years, it has keyed in on creating community of its own.
Notable amenities: Skillshares, huddle rooms
Size: 8,600 square feet
Price: Three tiers: Support at $30/month, Connect at $50/month, Grow at $150/month
28 E. Susquehanna Ave., Towson
Cofounders Tony DiFatta and Michael Tich worked with plenty of entrepreneurs through their own businesses, and a monthly peer group called INSIGHT. In 2017, they opened a space to bring small business owners together every day. It mixes private offices and shared space. According to Di Fatta, they are expecting one office coming January 2020 to be available on the market.
Notable amenities: Community of 200-plus businesses, invites to INSIGHT breakfasts
Size: 6,000 square feet
Price: Shared space for $200/month, private office starting at $500/month
210 West Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 100, Towson
Towson is one of six locations for this Maryland coworking network. It’s looking to bring coworking to the suburbs, and offer the kind of space that will help entrepreneurs get started.
Notable amenities: Cafe, 24/7 access
Size: 7,500 square feet
Price: Coworking day pass $20, flexible space $200/month, private office $950/month
1215 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore
Locust Point-based tech and marketing agency Mindgrub opened an incubator within its offices in McHenry Row in 2019. For an agency that works with startups, it marked a chance to nurture them inside its walls. In 2020, plans are in place to expand the concept to Mindpub, which will be inside the former home of Rachel New American Cuisine in Riverside.
Amenities: Access to climbing wall, lounge areas and other spaces in Mindgrub’s 20,000-square-foot offices
Size: 3,500 square feet at Mindgrub’s HQ, and 2,000 additional square feet forthcoming at Mindpub
Price: Open space $350/month, private office (one to two people) $550/month, large office (about five people) $850/month
1400 Greenmount Ave., Station North
The massive makerspace boasts the tools that are helping hardware and light manufacturing startups get off the ground. But just as important to the team is the mission of reaching out on a neighborhood. So along with access to shop areas, Open Works serves as a community gathering point for the Greenmount West and Johnston Square community. In the end, it has a focus on helping residents launch businesses in the area. In 2019, the space reported an $8.5 million economic impact over three years.
Notable amenities: Coffee shop onsite, free parking (both lot and street side)
Size: 34,000 square feet
Price: $25 day pass, youth access for $40. Membership options: Maker at $70/month (includes desktop tools for prototyping and electronics), Builder at $90/month for heavy duty projects, Pro at $125/month features full access
640 Frederick Road, Catonsville; 8407 Main St., Ellicott City
Located inside Catonsville’s historic Bank Building, one space serves as a gathering point for entrepreneurs in the commercial district in Catonsville. In Ellicott City, the space is located in a former fire station. A third location will be inside Clarksville Commons, offering workspace inside a town center. Throughout, the owners pride themselves on offering coworking memberships without the burden of committing to a lease or contract.
Notable amenities: 3D printing, office supplies, free beverages
Size: 2,300 square feet at Catonsville, 1,700 square feet at Ellicott City
Price: Five-day pass $99/month, 10-day pass $100/month, undedicated desk $200 to $250/month, dedicated desk $325 to $425/month, private office $800 to $1,000/month
Stadium Square, 145 West Ostend St., South Baltimore; The Gallery at Harborplace, 200 E. Pratt St., Inner Harbor
In 2018, the opening of this shared office space inside Stadium Square showed marked a move from a global coworking player to enter Baltimore. It remains the only such company to enter the area and open up shop. Spaces puts a priority on private offices, but maintains the flexible leasing plans and configurations that’s become synonymous with coworking. It also has dedicated desks and plenty of common areas. A second Baltimore location at the Gallery at Harborplace opened this year.
Notable amenities: Networking events
Size: 30,000 square feet at both locations
Price: Coworking space: Stadium Square from $267/month and Harborplace from $252/month; dedicated desk: Stadium Square from $282/month and Harborplace from $301/month; office: Stadium Square from $337/month and Harborplace from $377/month
8 Market Place, Inner Harbor
Baltimore’s Cordish Companies made a move into coworking with this space at Power Plant Live! in 2015. It’s since expanded to every floor of the building, adding 12,000 square feet in 2019. The first floor space that came online this year features a dedicated training room and green space for wellness and meditation, as well as workspaces. A floor up, digital services firm Fearless also expanded in 2019, and now has a total of 7,000 square feet. Home to a mix of tech, creative and service firms, Spark counts 160 companies and nearly 500 individual members. It’s a central gathering point for the city’s entrepreneurial community through regular events like the upcoming Every Startup’s Holiday Party.
Notable amenities: Local coffee and craft beer, indoor bike storage, on-site parking garage, fitness center
Size: 80,000 square feet
Price: Day pass $15, mailbox member $50/month, undedicated desk $225, dedicated desk $375; private offices: Single $595, Double $1,095/month, Triple $1,595/month, Quad $2,095/month, Suites $2,950/month
1401 Severn St., Pigtown
Cofounders Kyle O’Connor, Marcus Henderson and Deonn Howard brought an incubator to Pigtown and created a community focused on inclusive innovation. Along with coworking, the space provides education and business-building resources to help entrepreneurs. It has 88 member companies with 178 employees.
Notable amenities: Mentorship
Size: 25,000 square feet
Price: Day pass $25/day, week pass $100/week, dedicated desk $450/month
7400 York Rd., Towson
Located on York Road, Towson University’s incubator has flexible space for member companies. Along with connections to the university and regional tech players, the incubator boasts a concentration of edtech startups.
Notable amenities: Workshops, collaboration/network opportunities
Size: 4,200 square feet
Price: Associate membership at $200/month, residential membership at $400 to $600/month depending on office size
12 W. Montogomery St., Federal Hill.
The space in Federal Hill mixes the privacy needed for productivity and community connections. The space has 20 private offices featuring lofts above desk space, while an atrium area forms a gathering space complete with coffee bar. The flexibility extends to the second floor of the building, which has a mix of apartments and workspaces. Other features include 24/7 access, conference room access and a golf simulator.
Notable amenities: Golf course simulator, in-house barber shop, Friday happy hour, 24/7 access
Size: 11,000 square feet
Price: Day pass $15, five-day pass $75, 10-day pass $120, 20-day pass $200; Vision membership from $250/month, private office from $550/month, live/work suites from $1,900/month
Coming in 2020:
- WeWork is expected to open its first Baltimore coworking space at Wills Wharf in Harbor Point.
- WorkMode plans to open on Main Street in Bel Air.
Did we miss anybody? Tell us in the comments.-30-
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