Prominent D.C.-based incubator 1776 is making a comeback in the District, and shutting down its Crystal City campus.
The company is setting up shop in the McPherson Square area near the White House, The Washington Business Journal first reported. The incubator didn’t share with WBJ when the move will be made, but it’ll happen this year. Lucas McCanna, 1776’s senior director of strategy, told WBJ that 95 percent of it’s Crystal City members will transition to the D.C. location once it opens.
McCanna told WBJ that 1776 is closing its Crystal City campus for the same reason it closed it’s original incubator space in D.C. in December: The incubator couldn’t reach an agreement over lease renewal terms with the building owner, in this case Arlington, Va.-based JBG Smith.
During 1776’s merger deal with Benjamin’s Desk in 2017, it shifted business models from “assuming lease liabilities to a managed service model,” CEO Jennifer Maher said at the time, which allows the incubator to expand and better manage its markets. With this shift in business model, 1776’s real estate strategy relies on partnerships with property owners to manage its spaces.
Though the company has been vocal about reopening a D.C. location, that may not be the same case for the Crystal City campus. Despite McCanna declining to say when all of these changes will occur, a 1776 member told WBJ that the incubator suggested that it will close its Crystal City campus at the end of August for good, as it prepares to open its D.C. location this month.
This news comes after 1776 announced that it is partnering with Ipsos to host a patient experience pitch competition for startups working to improve the healthcare patient and provider experience. The competition is set to be hosted at 1776 DC’s new location on October 17.