Company Culture
Coworking / Workplace culture

WeWork ditched its original Philly coworking space at The Piazza

The coworking behemoth is no longer operating its first Philadelphia hub, bringing its count of local spaces down to two. The Northern Liberties location has rebranded as Operators Club at The Piazza.

Inside WeWork's original Northern Liberties location. (Courtesy Max Hoagland)

Philadelphia’s coworking landscape is changing again as a global operator downsizes its local presence.

Coworking has been active in Philadelphia for many years, with homegrown hubs like Indy Hall and Venturef0rth offering workspace to the tech and art communities since the late aughts and early teens. (Watch the coworking episode of decade-old “Developing Philly” to learn more about its local origins.)

Then came the behemoths. Global coworking operator WeWork at one point had five spaces operating in Philadelphia, with its first opening in 2016 at 1010 N. Hancock St. in Northern Liberties, inside the revamped Schmidt’s Brewery building.

Yet over the last few years, amid financial woes following a superinfusion of cash from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and a former valuation of $47 billion, the company has been closing some of its spaces in the city, including its 1430 Walnut St. location in 2020.

The latest shakeup: This fall, WeWork’s Northern Liberties location has rebranded as a coworking space called Operators Club at The Piazza. A WeWork spokesperson confirmed to Technical.ly that the company had stopped operating in The Piazza in October. The company also stopped using its 1601 Market St. location in 2022.

The change follows WeWork’s September announcement that it was renegotiating most of its leases and expected to stop using “unfit and underperforming locations and to reinvest in our strongest assets as we continuously improve our product,” as CEO David Tolley wrote in a public letter then.

Earlier this month, WeWork also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The coworking space company is still running out of two locations in Philadelphia: 1100 Ludlow St. and 1900 Market St. The spokesperson declined to speak to Technical.ly on the record, but noted that WeWork will maintain a presence in Philadelphia and will continue working with landlords in the area.

P.S. If you’re a former NoLibs WeWork member looking for a more community-minded spot to work, note that Indy Hall is still going strong at its 709 N. Second St. clubhouse.

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: WeWork
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