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ETC Baltimore ends a chapter as it shuts down coworking

Emerging Technology Centers' open-desk seating and coworking space, known as the Beehive, was slated to shut down in mid-September.

A look inside the ETC's Haven Street incubator, seen here in 2013. (Technical.ly file photo)
Full disclosure: Technical.ly has a longstanding relationship with ETC Baltimore. Technical.ly previously organized Baltimore Innovation Week (BIW) in tandem with ETC Baltimore and served as BIW’s media partner after ETC took over BIW organizing. ETC has provided Technical.ly with coworking space at its facility on North Haven Street. ETC’s board president, Margaret Roth Falzon, has contributed articles to Technical.ly. This article also includes references to the Baltimore Development Corporation. Technical.ly reporter Alanah Nichole Davis is set to moderate a panel at its upcoming Baltimore Together Summit.
More change is afoot in Baltimore’s coworking world as a longtime hub winds down.

After a discreet leadership change in October 2022, the Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore), a venture of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), has sent another memo to update its member base on major changes. This time, the communication concerns the end of ETC’s Beehive Baltimore coworking space.

Back in March 2023, BDC and ETC’s board of directors issued a memo appointing BDC Executive Vice President Kimberly Clark the acting executive director and president of the technology and innovation center. That was roughly 11 years after ETC assumed control of Beehive Baltimore in 2012, which was established in 2009 as one of the city’s pioneering coworking spaces.

Fast forward to Aug. 11, when ETC issued another memo to members (including Technical.ly, which received the memo in its capacity as an ETC tenant) that noted the expiring leases and the gradual termination of services at its Haven Street location in Highlandtown.

“Dear Beehive Members, As you are aware, our lease expires in October of this year,” reads the memo, which was signed by Clark. “As we continue to reevaluate the ETC’s second act, we must begin winding down 101 N. Haven Street. As such, Beehive services will end 30 days from the date of this letter.”

Clark responded to Technical.ly’s interview request by providing a comment attributed to BDC President and CEO Colin Tarbert: “We will be releasing the ETC strategic plan and next steps in the coming weeks. We [will] be happy to talk with you at that time.”

Clark deferred to the quote when asked exactly when ETC’s lease at 101 N. Haven St. will expire, what worksite services are included in the Beehive offerings ending this week (including more permanent offices), and if BDC had any plans to renew the Haven Street lease.

4 people sit on red stools on grey-brown stage below brown wall and grey pipe

(L to R) Phil Castro, Mike Leffer, McKeever “Mac” Conwell and Margaret Roth Falzon speak during Baltimore Innovation Week 2022 at ETC Baltimore. (Technical.ly photo)

Technical.ly has previously worked with ETC in numerous capacities. We notably had a hand in partnering with ETC to launch Baltimore Innovation Week (BIW) before ETC became its primary organizer in 2018. BIW week typically took place in the fall, and its website remains frozen for promotions in 2022.

Without a new BIW on the horizon, BDC is currently in the throes of planning its Baltimore Together Summit, which takes place on Oct. 30. According to a LinkedIn post of Tarbert’s, guest speakers, panelists and moderators confirmed for the summit include Gov. Wes Moore; Mayor Brandon M. Scott; Downtown Partnership of Baltimore President Shelonda Stokes; Technical.ly’s Baltimore reporter, Alanah Nichole Davis; and others.

Other Baltimore-based coworking spaces remain active. Impact Hub Baltimore, on the North Avenue corridor, has also experienced top-level changes by shifting to coleadership while Spark Baltimore and The Cube Cowork maintain their hubs downtown and in Hamilton-Lauraville, respectively.

ETC now joins the likes of Betamore in shutting down coworking operations as its leaders reevaluate its next chapter. As of March, that has included working with HR&A Advisors on a strategic planning process.

This is a developing story. Are you a current or former member of the Beehive, and want to share your thoughts on these changes? If so, reach out to baltimore@technical.ly.

Companies: Baltimore Development Corporation / Emerging Technology Centers (ETC Baltimore)

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