In a sign of this city’s increasing popularity and burgeoning entrepreneurial community, a UK-based co-working company has announced that it is expanding to the US, choosing Philadelphia as its first base.
Startup Home, a UK-based entity that provides co-working and co-living spaces to entrepreneurs and startups, made the announcement last week and plans to break ground in Philly by March 2017. It’ll join a growing list of at least 20 co-working spaces already in the city, but it will be the first to combine co-working and co-living into one.
“The first building—we are planning to open between 3 and 5 in Philadelphia alone—will be in an existing building that we will refit for the occasion,” Simone Tarantino, US Executive Director, told Curbed Philly in an e-mail.
Depending on how the first building goes, they’ll consider new builds for rest of the properties. One building will be dedicated entirely to women entrepreneurs and another will be home to IoT and Augmented Reality Lab. Tarantino says two developers have already expressed interest in working with them for the new builds.
Why Philly? Tarantino points to the city’s young talent pool coming out of Penn, Drexel, and Temple.
No definite site has been nailed down, but Startup Home is working with the city and Philly Startup Leaders to pick a location that’s not in Center City. “It will most likely be in a off-centered neighborhood,” says Tarantino. “Think Northern Liberties, Fishtown, South Philly, maybe Spring Garden.”
Currently, there are numerous co-working spaces in Center City including WeWork and CultureWorks. Kensington will also be home to smaller live-work spaces at 1222 N. 2nd Street, and what’s been dubbed Techadelphia, a mixed-use development that will feature a tech co-working hub on the ground floor and apartments for rent on the upper levels.
At Startup Home, all three or five buildings will feature 20 startups each and 20 “nice-size” bedrooms that are bigger than the average hotel room, says Tarantino. Essentially, the rooms will be big enough for a tenant to live there for the six-month lease, but small enough that he or she is encouraged to spend the most time in the communal, co-working spaces.
“The goal is to foster collaboration, network and sharing, key elements of success for entrepreneurs,” says Tarantino.
Renderings are not yet available, but Startup Home is working with Mariotti Studio on the design.
- First Look: Inside the WeWork in Northern Liberties [Curbed Philly]
- With Pennovation, Forgotten Bottom looks to its future [Curbed Philly]