Company Culture

1776 launches new Brewerytown hub, plans shutdown of UCity campus

It's part of a shift in the business model: The company is moving away from signing leases and focusing on partnering with asset owners in a management capacity.

1776 signage at the new incubator space. (Courtesy photo)

On Monday, coworking company 1776 will open the doors on a new location in Brewerytown, in partnership with Fort Washington, Pa.-based real estate developer Westrum Development Company.

The new 8,000-square-foot hub is a part of The Hub at 31, a residential complex located at 1410 N. 31st St. and owned by Westrum.

“We started noticing that a lot of our members were already coming from this area anyway,” said 1776 CEO Jennifer Maher. “This space will be available to other members and serves as another amenity to the residents of the building.” 1776 members will also have access to the building’s common areas, like a lounge, bar and a forthcoming pool.

In keeping with the company’s model move away from leasing space directly from real estate companies, and closer into an operations role in partnership with the real estate companies and asset owners.

“We don’t sign leases anymore, as part of our shift into just partnering on the management side,” said Maher.

Because of the shift, she said, the 11,000-square-foot University City campus will be closing down this spring. A portion of the community of startups and entrepreneurs from UCity will begin transferring elsewhere within the 1776 ecosystem, including the new Brewerytown hub and the Pennovation spot as soon as Monday.

“We hope we’re able to work with everyone to find a new home within any of our campuses,” Maher said. “Some people, I imagine, will tour the other places but we will be able to accommodate everyone in the Brewerytown location.”

At the end of the year, in keeping with the shift away from its original business model, 1776 shuttered its original Washington D.C. location.

No immediate changes are expected to the company’s other Philly spots, including its Center City location at 1608 Walnut St. and 601 Walnut St. (where, full disclosure, is based).

In the new Brewerytown spot, Maher sees a mutually beneficial setup: Being affixed to a building allows 1776 to tap into the local pool of entrepreneurs and remote workers, while Westrum benefits by offering access to the coworking location and programming as part of its amenities package.

“We hope this will be the start of other locations like this in this market and in other markets,” 1776’s CEO said. “We think it’s a great way to serve another community and partner with the asset owner. We’ve switched into the management model.”

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