(Photo by Flickr user @vcferry, used under a Creative Commons license)
The coworking space craze continues with Pipeline, a Miami-based coworking space that will open a Center City location this fall, according to a release. It’ll be on the 15th and 16th floors of the 25-story Graham Building at 15th and Chestnut Streets. This appears to be more high-end and shiny, less grassroots and underground than much of coworking’s modern roots.
At 21,000 square feet, Pipeline Philadelphia will be massive compared to other Center City coworking spaces — for example, Rittenhouse Square’s Benjamin’s Desk is 6,000 square feet on two floors. Its size is closer to the sprawling, three-floor Impact Hub in Kensington. Pipeline is looking for businesses and coworkers of all types, though it mentioned that it would curate its members to create its ideal community, the Business Journal reported.
The Miami Pipeline, called Pipeline Brickell, opened in November 2014 and is 14,000 square feet. It has 250 members, according to the Miami Herald.
Why would a Miami company expand to Philadelphia?
David Grasso, the Philly developer who’s leading the project with Pipeline’s cofounders, said it’s about helping to nurture the city’s growing number of small businesses. It’s also about capitalizing on that uptick.
“With Pipeline Philly, we have an opportunity to lead the pack toward fostering a more robust entrepreneurial ecosystem in our business community,” said Grasso, who runs a number of waterfront condos on the Delaware River in Northern Liberties, in a statement. Grasso was connected with Pipeline by Tayyib Smith, the creative marketer behind Little Giant, who will help with the project launch.
It seems like coworking spaces are becoming the stuff of dreams for Philly’s major property developers. Instead of the more members-first efforts from early coworking spaces like Indy Hall and Venturef0rth, developers like Grasso and John Connors of Brickstone Realty are now talking about coworking. Of course, there were also developers Paul Maiello and David Belt who worked on the now-shuttered 3rd Ward project. Impact Hub, the coworking space who now runs the building, got a “very good deal” on the huge warehouse space.
The Pipeline space already has some tenants, including Nathan Solomon‘s youth-focused Philadelphia Game Lab, which had a small office in Benjamin’s Desk most recently (Pipeline declined to share other names because of pending agreements), said Grasso and Pipeline cofounder Philippe Houdard through a spokeswoman. Flex spaces will start at $199/month and offices at $499/month.
When asked what sets Pipeline apart in a city of many coworking spaces, Grasso and Houdard answered, “We’re not your traditional coworking space.”
They said: “We offer a high-design space, creating a professional atmosphere where a full range of companies can work, from the traditional to the up-and-coming new technology startup. Our focus on creating a collaborative environment enables companies to naturally engage with one another when it makes sense to and grow their businesses while also having multiple areas where members can conduct their business in private.”-30-
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