Benjamin's Desk Announces Construction on Second Philadelphia Coworking Location

Expansion to The Curtis Opens New Opportunities for Philadelphia Startups, Entrepreneurs, and Enterprise Professionals Near Old City and Washington Square

22 SEPTEMBER 2015, PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA
Summary
Philadelphia coworking network Benjamin's Desk has started construction on its second location, a nearly 10,000 square foot space at The Curtis, the 12-story historic building near Independence National Historical Park. Upon opening, the new location will provide members with easy access to three of the city's busiest business hubs.

Benjamin’s Desk, the Philadelphia coworking network that helped launch regional offices for companies like Uber and Municibid, has started construction on its second location, a nearly 10,000 square foot space on the top floor of The Curtis, the 12-story historic building near Independence National Historical Park.

“After nearly three years on Rittenhouse Row, we’re excited to help our members extend their reach into Old City and Washington Square,” said Benjamin’s Desk Co-Founder and CEO Anthony Maher. “Upon completion this fall, this expansion more than doubles the number of desks available to serve entrepreneurs, mobile professionals, and early stage startup companies.”

Maher also announced a lineup of founding member companies who will move their teams into significant portions of the facility’s dedicated office space:

  • Cross Valley Capital—Led by partners Jon Gosier and Rajat Joshi, Cross Valley Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund targeting companies with exponential technologies at their core. “We're excited to be a part of this next step for the Benjamin's Desk team,” said Gosier, a serial entrepreneur and TED Senior Fellow.
  • Engine Room Technology—Headed by information security specialist Dennis Egen, this fast-growing web development, technology and security firm has operated from Benjamin’s Desk’s 7th Floor space for over a year. “The nature of our work makes every day an adventure, and this is only heightened and supported by the collaboration, networking, and pooled resources that the coworking space provides for the Engine Room team,” Egen said. Egen’s team will move into dedicated spaces at The Curtis that will facilitate both development tasks and client conversations.
  • Legal Science, LLC—Having graduated from Philadelphia accelerator program FastFWD, the attorneys and developers behind this data analysis startup will use their dedicated office space to accommodate a growing team. “Our team at Legal Science, LLC is stoked to be moving to the new Benjamin's Desk space in The Curtis,” said company co-founder Heidi Grunwald. “We have benefited tremendously from the collective energy and support in the open work environment on Walnut Street. We’re excited that some of our start-up colleagues will move along with us, so we will see familiar faces every day.”
  • Bunker Labs PHL—The Philadelphia outpost of Bunker Labs, a Chicago-based incubator for veteran-founded startups, will bring its inaugural cohort of six companies to a special zone at Benjamin’s Desk’s new location. Founding Executive Director Michael J. Maher (also a Co-Founder and the first CEO of Benjamin’s Desk) said, “This innovation accelerator for veterans will be transformational for the region. I’m humbled to be working with so many amazing leaders who are on a new mission to change the world.”

The addition of a coworking facility to The Curtis marks a major milestone for the strategic plan outlined in 2014 by the building’s owners, affiliates of Keystone Property Group and Mack‐Cali Realty Corporation. With recent announcements of luxury apartment homes and expanded dining options coming to The Curtis, the arrival of Benjamin’s Desk in the building helps reposition the property as a destination where Philadelphians can work, live, and be entertained.

"The coworking environment in many ways reflects our overall revitalization strategy for the building, which aims to foster an vibrant, communal setting for visitors and workers," said Rich Gottlieb, Senior Vice President, Keystone Property Group. "We're excited to welcome such an energetic company that has such enthusiasm for innovation here in this historical landmark."

Described as “Philadelphia’s Premier Coworking Network,” Benjamin’s Desk aims to provide mobile professionals, consultants, entrepreneurs and startups across a range of industries with more than just office space. Members are given access to capital resources, economic partners, high-profile networking events, and more—all with the explicit goal of helping them grow.

Benjamin’s Desk offers four core membership opportunities for entrepreneurs and enterprise partners:

  • The Network—A membership program that includes occasional use of common space and access to special events, professional development courses, and business incubation services.
  • Part-Time—Flexible access to shared desks and conference rooms for professionals requiring presence in targeted geographic areas.
  • Full-Time—Around-the-clock access to Benjamin’s Desk facilities, including the option for dedicated desks and virtual office solutions.
  • Private Offices—Short term, flexible leases for early-stage startup companies and other teams.

Members will enjoy access to facilities and services at both locations, including mentorship and benefits from corporate sponsors that include Comcast Business, Pepper Hamilton, GMS Surgent, TriNet, Professional Planning Associates, and 2820 Press.

“Our Benjamin’s Desk community has taught us that access to convenient locations, inspiring spaces, thoughtful engagement, and powerful membership are the keys to growing successful companies,” Maher said. “In an environment when we often hear about coworking spaces struggling to survive, those factors have helped our members thrive to the point where expansion into a new neighborhood became a necessity, not just an aspiration.”

The new location will be known as Benjamin’s Desk Washington Square, while the network’s original, two-floor location in the historic Allman Building on Walnut Street will be rebranded as Benjamin’s Desk Rittenhouse Square.

Although an opening date has not been set, Maher said that founding members will gain access to private office space during the fourth quarter of 2015. Access and services at the new location will be extended to all Benjamin’s Desk members shortly after. Maher said that further updates, including event announcements and pre-opening photographs, will be published to the network’s official website, at BenjaminsDesk.com.

Quotes
"“After nearly three years on Rittenhouse Row, we’re excited to help our members extend their reach into Old City and Washington Square. Upon completion this fall, this expansion more than doubles the number of desks available to serve entrepreneurs, mobile professionals, and early stage startup companies.” " Anthony Maher, CEO, Benjamin's Desk
""The coworking environment in many ways reflects our overall revitalization strategy for the building, which aims to foster an vibrant, communal setting for visitors and workers. We're excited to welcome such an energetic company that has such enthusiasm for innovation here in this historical landmark."" Rich Gottlieb, Senior Vice President, Keystone Property Group
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About Benjamin's Desk

Benjamin's Desk provides physical resources, insightful programming, and a coworking community to help small companies grow. Our state-of-the-art workspaces, conference rooms, and corporate partnerships offer solo entrepreneurs and early stage startups the building blocks to scale in high-density urban business centers.