Amid the current listings on Kinglet is a space on Washington Boulevard. It’s the rare Pigtown listing amid the many Canton, Federal Hill and Mount Vernon spaces that appear on the on-demand office rental site.
The space, known as Gallery 788, has gone from an art gallery (which relocated to Hampden) to a jewelry store, and was last used as a pickup shop for a dry cleaners.
But its latest iteration is a coworking space, which could mean a new form of entrepreneurship is coming to once-troubled South Baltimore neighborhood.
Lit by track lighting and light from the windows, the 900-square-foot space features a handful of desks, which could be re-arranged. Marc Smith of Magnum Construction is making arrangements for other office basics like mail and a coffee machine. The whole space can be rented in one go, or as little as one desk can be rented.
“We try to be as flexible as possible to meet anyone’s needs,” Smith said.
The new arrangement points to the potential that Baltimore’s entrepreneurial community could have.
“We’ve approached leasing in a more traditional way,” said Ben Hyman, executive director of Pigtown Main Street. “This is an attempt to try something new.”
Named after the pigs that were herded off of trains and into nearby butcher shops, the neighborhood is equally known for its diversity.
Over the last several years, small businesses and restaurants have popped up along Washington Boulevard. Cafe Jovial is just a couple doors down from the coworking space, and State Sen. Catherine Pugh even helped open up 2 Chic Boutique.
The neighborhood is just a couple of blocks from downtown and the sports stadiums, but has a close-knit, walk-up feel. That’s also true of Gallery 788, Hyman said.
“You’re on the ground level. You’re really in the middle of the community,” he said. “You’re really of this neighborhood, so I think it’s going to appeal to a certain type of user.”
Partnering with Kinglet, which is based just a few neighborhoods over in Federal Hill, offers a chance to reach the kinds of people who will be willing to go to an area of town where there may not be many other startups — yet.
“We believe Kinglet can be an economic catalyst for areas like Pigtown that are struggling with vacant space, especially at street level,” said Kinglet cofounder and CMO Jeff Jacobson. “We continue to work with Baltimore’s Main Street organizations through BDC to help them understand the benefits to neighborhoods and their businesses.”