Company Culture
Coworking / Social media

There were two founding coworking spaces in Delaware. Here’s what happened to the other one

You know about coIN Loft, but what about Newark CoWork? After four years of online silence, we check in to see what's up.

Newark CoWork. (Photo by Brian Feister)

It’s called Newark CoWork, and it was one of two founding coworking spaces in Delaware, having announced its launch a mere few months after the initial launch of coIN Loft back in 2010. (We’re dating ourselves here, but the initial coIN launch was covered by our then-one-year-old sister site Technical.ly Philly.)
But Newark CoWork, at least according to social media, seems to have vanished entirely.
Diving right in to the space’s Facebook feed, Newark CoWork was online as early as September 2010.
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Further Facebook stalking reveals the space was still undergoing construction in late September of that year.
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Then, in November of that same year, renovations were completed.
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According to Facebook, the space was fully operational and already at capacity as of March 1, 2011. Five months later, on August 4, 2011, Newark CoWork posted this ominous message on its Facebook page. Was it signaling the end of an era, albeit a short-lived one?
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But wait, there’s more. One more, actually.
In October 2011, Newark CoWork cast this tweet out into the Twitterverse:


With that final, solemn Tweet, Newark CoWork officially disappeared entirely from the social media stratosphere. But we recently discovered, Newark CoWork is far from dead.
“For a long time, in the interest of being safe and not ending up in a position where I’d have to shut my doors because I’ve overreached, I’ve kept CoWork small,” said Brian Feister, founder of the space and UX/UI architect at digital display company Scala in Malvern, Pa.
“Now, things are gaining more momentum in Newark than they had been. I’ve been thinking lately about expanding.”
Newark CoWork is small — it consists of two rooms: a room with five desks and a conference room. Petite for sure, but it also boasts free parking for tenants in the lot of the shopping center it lives in. This is absolutely contrary to contemporary New Castle County coworking spaces 1313 Innovation and coIN — both in Wilmington and both constrained by two-hour meter parking and parking garages. To boot, Newark CoWork has lockers and storage space for tenants — an instant win for most potential tenants.
How is it possible, then, that the startup community in Delaware knows very little (if anything) about Newark CoWork?
“The reason people don’t know about it is because when I first started the cowork, I felt like coworking was a cool kind of a trend,” said Feister. “I was also worried about how stable the whole thing was.”
Feister has been successful enough with Newark CoWork to keep it open for the past four years — not an easy feat in small communities with shallow pools of potential clients.
According to Feister, tenants over the years have ranged from tech startups to financial consultants to professional writers. The space may be tiny, but up until recently, Feister preferred keeping it that way.
“It started as, ‘Let’s try this and see what happens.’ Will people bite? Will people be interested?” Feister said. “By and large, the answer has been ‘yes.'”
Feister said he has an interest in getting involved with the startup scene in Newark, mostly around his alma mater, the University of Delaware.

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Once, there were two: CoWork and coIN. First of their kind in an unfamiliar land, emerging mere months apart, yet unknowingly existing on parallel planes. One prevailed in the public eye. The other? A long-lost page, ripped from the annals of Delaware coworking history.
Until now.

Companies: 1313 Innovation / The Loft

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