Tenants were kicked out of 1776 Rittenhouse this morning - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 26, 2020 12:23 pm

Tenants were kicked out of 1776 Rittenhouse this morning

CEO Jenn Maher says it was "a miscommunication" between the company and the building and that tenants should be let back in later today.
At 1776’s spot on 1608 Walnut St.

At 1776's spot on 1608 Walnut St.

(Courtesy photo)

Full disclosure: Technically Media was previously a tenant of 1776's former Washington Square location, and our Technical.ly DC reporter works out of the company's Lafayette Square location.

Update: Around 4  p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, Campus Manager Sara Street Tahan told tenants they could return to the space and that the campus would be operating as usual on Thursday. This is a developing story.


Tenants of 1776 Rittenhouse, the coworking company’s flagship location, were asked to leave the space Wednesday morning without explanation, multiple sources have told Technical.ly.

Around 9:45 a.m., a security person entered the coworking space on the 12th floor of 1608 Walnut St., the Sun Oil Building, and told tenants that they needed to leave. After 10 a.m., they were told, no one would be let back on the floor.

Tenants of the coworking space took to Slack and social media sharing what had happened and asking for information.

Rachel Bennett, a designer at OpenForge, said that tenants were told everyone had “10 minutes to leave,” and they’d “‘let us know’ when we could come and grab the rest of our stuff.”

Bennett’s coworker Paulina Gallo told Technical.ly that she was on her way up to the coworking space when she was told that elevator access to that floor was restricted.

OpenForge’s CEO, Jedidiah Weller, tweeted about the incident, saying that the company had paid 1776 rent through the rest of the year.

LeAnne Matlach, who works remotely out of the space for Baltimore-based company Fearless, said she had it easier as someone who just uses a hot desk, because she was able to bring everything home with her in her bag. Folks who rent private offices had things like computer monitors, plants and extra furniture they weren’t sure they’d be able to come back for, she said.

“It was just like ‘scatter to the wind,’ no information,” she said, and added that she hadn’t heard any official communication from the company as of noon.

Matlach said that the office manager also seemed blindsided by the eviction, and was telling tenants that the company would set up a separate time with the building to come and retrieve their things.

Around 11:50 a.m., 1776 CEO Jennifer Maher told Technical.ly that she and her team are aware of the events that happened this morning, and that it was “the result of a large miscommunication between the company and the building’s management.”

“We do expect that later today they will be able to get back into the space,” Maher said. She didn’t elaborate on what sort of miscommunication led to the events this morning, but said official communication will be coming from 1776 to tenants “soon.”

1776 operates local spaces in Rittenhouse, Brewerytown, Pennovation, Ambler Yards and the Cherry Hill Mall, as well as spaces in D.C. and Maryland’s Montgomery County. It operated 119,000 square feet in Philadelphia, trailing only WeWork and Cambridge Innovation Center in square footage, as of fall 2019, according to a CBRE report.

We’ll be following this story as it develops.

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