Inside MakeOffices' massive Center City coworking spot - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 12, 2017 7:44 am

Inside MakeOffices’ massive Center City coworking spot

At 57,320 square feet, the shared-office space will be among the city's biggest.

The new spot takes up four floors at 1635 Market.

(Photo by Roberto Torres)

At its second Philly spot, D.C.-based coworking company MakeOffices is in soft-launch mode.

Over the banging of hammers and the buzz of power tools, MakeOffices Expansion Team Lead Jazmin Jabbarnia gave us the tour of the company’s second location in town: a 57,320-square-feet hub at 1635 Market St.

The space, similar in aesthetics to the original Philly location four blocks west (but twice its size), takes up four floors of the Center City building. It’s due to have its official launch Oct. 1.

“What I love about this place is that it has a lot of communal spots,” Jabbarnia said as she walked us through the space.

Common areas. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

Common areas. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

But let’s back up a sec.

In January of last year we heard this spot, undoubtedly among Philly’s largest, was slated to open in the Spring of 2016. Per MakeOffices spokesperson, Manu Aggerwal, the delays were due to the construction process at the location, initially conceived to take up three floors of the building.

Aside from the open desk areas, the space has private offices ranging from one to nine people. Members also have access to eight conference rooms, massage chairs, a “device lab” for app testing and a recording studio.

Massage chairs in the relaxation room.

Massage chairs in the relaxation room. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

There are already companies working out of the space, said Jabbarnia, mostly web dev shops and tech consultants.

In the face of fierce competition from neighboring WeWork and it’s 50,000 square-foot spot at 19th and Market, how’s MakeOffices planning to fill this thing up?

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“First up, our offices have a lot of privacy,” said Jabbarnia. “They have hard walls between the offices and that’s a big selling point for us. At the same time, the interior offices also have a lot of natural light.” (For what it’s worth, noisy coworking spots are a frequent gripe of Trajectify founder Mike Krupit.)

Obligatory glass door shot. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

Obligatory glass door shot. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

BTW, quick update to our November 2016 piece on MakeOffices and its Philly plans: a negotiation is still in place for a third location at The Bourse.

Here’s one of the reasons why: Incoming CEO Zach Wade, who replaced former MakeOffices boss Raymond Rahbar in May, is a principal MRP Realty, which manages The Bourse.

“We’re looking to bring The Bourse back in the fold,” said Aggerwal.

“We were really excited to go to The Bourse,” Rahbar told Technical.ly last fall. “After doing initial due diligence, we decided that the project was not right for us.”

More reporting to come on that one, for sure.

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Roberto Torres

Roberto Torres became Technical.ly Lead Philly Reporter in May 2016. Prior, he was a freelance contributor to Technical.ly and Al Dia News. The native Venezuelan moved to Philadelphia in 2015 after reporting on research at his alma mater, the University of Zulia. Whenever he's not fencing deadlines, he can be found standing in line at Overbrook Pizza in West Philly, running Netflix/Hulu marathons with his wife or reading news from Venezuela.

  • Mike Krupit

    What’s with the gratuitous Krupit mention? FWIW, I like both WeWork and Make Offices each for different reasons and have worked out of both. They’re great spaces and have amazing community teams.

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