When COVID-19 hit the US in early 2020, offices shifted to at-home remote work, and coworking spaces were at a precipice.
Lockdowns and restrictions caused by a pandemic that is now in its third year may have seemed like a death sentence for a model where people, often not coworkers, share communal desks and coffee. The concept, in a way, flies in the face of our more socially distanced culture of 2022.
But the pandemic didn’t kill off coworking in Delaware, or elsewhere in the region. Sure, there are a couple of spaces, such as 1313 Innovation, that were alive in December 2019 that aren’t now. But in their place are new ones, such as CSC Station, which opened in late 2020 and is thriving.
How is it possible for any communal workspace to thrive during the COVID era? One reason may be that many offer small, glassed-in offices for a single person. Another may be the rise in remote work across the board: Coworking spaces allow remote workers a break from home, a space to work in peace for as long as you like and to connect with people face to face for meetings and general networking.
And so, after a year’s hiatus, Technical.ly is bringing back the Delaware coworking guide. Wondering where to work if your company is remote, but you’re craving in-person interaction? Check out your options below. For this roundup, we’re including several types of spaces: the communal coworking space, mini offices and labs, incubators, and accelerators.
Members range from independent programmers to startups to the classrooms of Zip Code Wilmington. As a bonus, The Mill has use of Theatre N on the second floor, and it also has additional offices on the Nemours Building’s seventh floor, accommodating private offices for businesses and organizations, including the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.
The coworking space fee includes membership in the Win Factory Wealth League, which means access to workshops, funding opportunities and opportunities for communal investment.
In 2021, DIS launched Science, Inc., a STEM startup incubator that has helped companies such as Carbon Reform, SAS Nanotechnologies and Elyte Energy clarify their business strategies and prepare for fundraising.
One of Delaware’s most enduring companies, CSC built a state of the art headquarters in the Wilmington suburbs in 2017. In 2019, the company made the move to add a downtown location with the purchase the Pennsylvania Railroad Building next to Biden Station, with a plan to open a multi-use space, including CSC offices and coworking space, in the Fall of 2020.
When COVID hit in March, renovations stayed on target, and it opened pretty much exactly when planned, giving a new home to Compass Red and Social Contract, small firms like Purpose PR and Tech Impact’s Delaware Data Innovation Lab. The Station also proved that it could be a solid venue for events when it hosted 2021’s sole in-person #MILLSUMMIT event.
All in all, there are 26 offices, as well as designated desks and a common workspace. There is even an inexpensive day rate if you want a place to work for an afternoon.
The Philly-based makerspace opened its Wilmington location in the Creative District in 2017. Members can take classes and have access to a high-tech wood shop, 3D printers, laser cutters and a robotics lab to create product prototypes and do creative work. Some of the creative businesses out of Nextfab include Kpelle.Designs, Addi Naturals and Linda Celestian. In 2021, NextFab Wilmington, along with the two Philadelphia locations, launched an Artisan Accelerator for creative startups.
Located on Lancaster Avenue near Greenhill in Wilmington, The Idea Loft flies under the radar, but has been home to well-known local names such as Gable Music Ventures. The space offers individual cubicles, small offices and the coveted free parking. “Resident Ideologists” include Evolve Brand Marketing, Breckstone Architecture and Johnstone & Ilis.
Located in picturesque Rockland, The General Store offers all of the perks of a “traditional” city coworking space: 24/7 access, free coffee and beer, bookable meeting rooms, private phone booths and even a place to shower.
TKO Suites has two locations in New Castle County: downtown Wilmington, at 300 Delaware Ave., and North Wilmington, at 1521 Concord Pike. Here, you can get a flexible lease on a private office with access to a meeting rooms, a kitchen and other amenities.
1201 N. Orange St., also known as One Commerce Center, is a multi-use building housing traditional offices, virtual office services, residences and The Hub, Stat International’s coworking space. The Hub’s demographic is less startups looking to network and more companies and sole proprietors looking for small private offices.
Regus is a multinational company offering pay-as-you-go “hot desking” and long-term desk leasing at the Brandywine Building in downtown Wilmington and Christiana Corporate Center in suburban Newark.
Located below the canal in New Castle County, the Middletown Business Incubator & Collaborative Workspace, or MBI, launched in 2015 with support from the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Located on North Cass near Main Street, the incubator accommodates up to 15 small businesses.
Launched in October 2016, DTP is a wet lab incubator located on the 272-acre site of the old Chrysler assembly plant in Newark, now known as University of Delaware’s Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. Residents include the Delaware Bioscience Association and Green Line Business Group.
Did we miss anyone? Let us know about coworking hubs and other nontraditional work spaces here.