Benjamin's Desk cofounder stepping down to focus on his real estate startup - Philly


Mar. 12, 2015 9:47 am

Benjamin’s Desk cofounder stepping down to focus on his real estate startup

The coworking space is tackling ambitious expansion plans over the next 18 months.

Mike Maher in Benjamin's Desk, before it opened as a coworking space.

(Photo by Yael Borofsky)

Mike Maher is onto his next venture.

Maher cofounded Center City coworking space Benjamin’s Desk in 2012 with his wife, attorney Jennifer Maher. Now, he’s taking a step back from the business so he can focus on his real estate startup, Houwzer. His older brother Anthony Maher, who was the space’s COO, is taking over, according to a Philadelphia Business Journal report.

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Benjamin’s Desk also has ambitious expansion plans, according to the report. It’s also taken an undisclosed investment from The Hub, which offers meeting space in the Cira Centre and other Philly locations.

Here’s what’s in store for Benjamin’s Desk:

  • It’s expanding to the sixth floor of its current building at 1701 Walnut Street, which means the space would occupy three floors of the building, bringing its total square footage to 10,000.
  • In the next 18 months, Benjamin’s Desk plans to launch multiple spaces that clock in at about 10,000-20,000 square feet, Mike Maher confirmed to us.
  • It’s “looking at establishing 10,000 square feet of ‘innovation micro-centers’ throughout struggling neighborhoods in the city,” according to the PBJ report.

The coworking space has also severed its ties with SeventySix Capital, Wayne Kimmel’s investment firm that invested $150,000 in the space. Mike Maher told the Business Journal that Benjamin’s Desk bought out that investment and got its equity back “for reasons we don’t need to disclose.”

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