An iconic, but vacant, building on South Street is getting a much needed makeover — and an opportunity to serve the neighborhood.
The Passyunk Post reported that the old Pearl Art & Crafts store at 4th and South streets will become "two stories of co-working spaces set to open on the upper levels of the building along with a new ground floor retail space." South Street Headhouse District's Mike Harris told the Post that the co-working space will have around 100 desks.
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Philadelphia's been experiencing a veritable renaissance of shared workspaces over the past several years.
In addition to Pipeline at 30 South 15th St., Philadelphia enjoys the Industrious shared space at 230 South Broad St. as well as Benjamin's Desk at 17th and Walnut Street. In fact, Benjamin's Desk has been expanding to include locations in West Philadelphia as well as Washington Square.
The idea behind shared workspaces is simple: Rent is one of the biggest budget line items for any business, and by sharing spaces with multiple other tenants — often startups or creative freelancers — costs can be lowered to increase profitability. Psychologically, some workers report a sense of increased productivity in so-called "hives," too.
In 2013, the New York Times profiled the phenomenon, reporting that some shared workspaces in American cities are so popular they have have waiting lists exceeding 200.