Late last week we took an early tour of Industrious, the new shared office space opening at Broad and Locust Streets this May (after some delays).
It’s still a serious work in progress, with white chalky construction dust everywhere and not much up but the glass walls surrounding each private office. One of the big undertaking is building a staircase that will connect the two floors. The space is already half-occupied, said community manager and Chinatown native Kristine Chin. Members include startup lawyers, web development firms and an executive coach.
One big way that Industrious differs from other Philly coworking offerings is that it’s very office-oriented.
There are 37 private offices between the two floors, each one with glass walls, and only ten coworking seats. Industrious plans to cap coworking at that number because it wants the open coworking space to be used by members who have offices, Chin said.
It’s also a little more upscale. Prices are higher (coworking starts at $350/month and offices range from $700-$3,900) and they plan to offer perks like catered lunch once a month, fresh pastries every day from Metropolitan Bakery, coffee from Reanimator and furniture from Southeast Asia. Industrious will also have a mothering room that does double time as a phone booth. Everyone’s membership is month to month —
a different approach from places like Indy Hall and Center City’s new Pipeline, which emphasize longer term memberships to prevent “churn” — though cofounder Justin Stewart said that turnover hasn’t been an issue with the first Industrious location in Chicago. (Other coworking spaces like Indy Hall and Center City’s new Pipeline say the same: they do month to month memberships though both say that turnover isn’t a issue.)
“We’re a little more expensive than the competition,” Stewart said, so members tend to know what they’re getting into when they sign up.
The space, on the 17th and 18th floors of 230 S. Broad St., overlooks the Bellevue. Stewart said all the windows make it feel like you’re “floating in air.”
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