Think Brownstone, a user experience and design agency based in Conshohocken, will open a Center City office at 15th and Sansom Streets this summer, said Russ Starke, executive vice president of Think Brownstone.
The seven-year-old company always wanted to open a Center City office, Starke said. It’s making the move now, for one, because it found a space it liked (The Packard Grande building, which houses steakhouse Del Frisco’s) but also because it’s outgrowing its Conshohocken space and wants to keep in line with company culture. That means not moving into an impersonal multi-level corporate building, Starke said.
Instead, they’re opening a 4,000 square foot space that’ll house 10-15 people at first. They’ll be staffers from every part of the company: research, user experience, project management. Think Brownstone currently employs 50.
Like other suburban companies that open satellite offices, Think Brownstone is also doing so to help recruit new employees and to make more convenient for its city-dwelling employees, Starke said. Several suburban tech companies have either opened these ‘gateway offices,’ as the Nutter administration calls them, or relocated completely to the city in the last two years, citing those exact reasons.
The company is adding some amenities, like a kitchen, meeting rooms and security, but it isn’t gutting it or doing a huge rehab, Starke said. The space has enough character itself: large windows, “lots of intricate marble work from the 1920s,” and hand-painted detail on the ceilings, he said.
How does Think Brownstone plan to keep the two offices united? Quarterly “all-hands” meetings that require everyone to be in the same place, monthly meetings that are done virtually, plus group activities like yoga class and various field trips to places like The Clay Studio and the Conshohocken Brewery.