Seed Philly, one of the city’s earliest startup incubators, is closing, founder Brad Denenberg announced Monday.
The Center City building that housed Seed Philly was sold for nearly $70 million in the spring, and Seed Philly was under a month-to-month lease during the sale process, Denenberg said. A few weeks ago, he said, the new owners terminated Seed Philly’s lease.
“I would guess that the new owners just want to renovate to make it easier to lease in the future, but I didn’t ask for details,” Denenberg wrote in an email. “I just got a letter stating that they are exercising their right to terminate.”
Pam Barnett, a spokeswoman for new building owners CBRE Global Investments, declined to comment.
Denenberg added: “If I were in their shoes I would do the same. We had below market rent. Definitely no hard feelings here.”
“The bigger issue,” he wrote, “is that we continue to have a fragmented and silo-ed community, and it’s difficult for me to be effective when there are hundreds of companies located in every possible pocket of the region instead of under one physical (or at least virtual) roof.”
As of last month, nine companies were working out of Seed Philly on a regular basis, including Mike Krupit’s IntroNet. Krupit said he’ll work out of Yorn’s space at 24th and Walnut for now.
Denenberg, who is also working on a music startup called Decibly, has no plans to open a new space right now.
“Unless we have a space significantly larger, I’m not sure I can effectively provide real value,” he said. “I’ll wait for community feedback to determine what’s next.”
Denenberg’s comments point to the state of coworking in Philly right now: several shared office spaces have either opened or are planning to open in the coming months, including NYC corporate coworking giant WeWork and Penn’s massive Pennovation Center in Grays Ferry.
Seed Philly incubated companies like OneTwoSee, ChargeItSpot and Club OS.