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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

South Philly’s 1st coworking space opens this week

Forget what the sign outside says, the South Philadelphia Co-Op Workspace was scheduled to open this week in a former corner store at 11th and Peirce streets. The shared office space is targeting all those homebound freelance workers in the neighborhood who miss daily small-talk with coworkers (or semi-regular, depending on the membership level).

Co-founder and architect Ian Toner, Say hi to your potential coworkers, Ian

The office is about 700 square feet on the first floor and has six desks (may expand to eight), plus it offers a conference area, kitchenette, basement storage and free Wifi and utilities.

Co-founders Ian Toner, an architect from the hood who will work full time there, and Terence Buckley, a bookkeeper who will pop by occasionally, sunk about $7,000 into sprucing up the rented storefront. The tables, storage shelves and kitchen counter were made out of wood reclaimed from a relative’s barn. They will also install a keypad so members can access the space 24/7.

The website is still an early version, but it lists these rates: $300/month for full-time use; $200/month for three days a week; $85/month for one day a week; $25/day drop-in rate. The rates are month-to-month, so no lease, and there’s no deposit. Toner said they’ve gotten interest from about 10 people, though all were waiting for the final approvals to commit.

Bustling workforce to come
The conference area and kitchenette
The main workspace. Chairs have since arrived.

So far as the sign goes, they’re in the process of determining whether the existing one was fully permitted to begin with. If it was, changing it will be easy. If it was slapped up there in the dead of night, then changing it will be a longer, costlier process. Either way, Toner says they hope to use the time in between to settle on an official name. They might even wait to find out what members end up calling it (SouCo? SoCOW?). Maybe someone with branding experience can barter for a month’s membership.

Hey, that’s not the 11th Street Food Market

The utilitarian space lacks the flash of the more well-known Independents Hall in Old City and the upcoming 3rd Ward on 4th Street just above Girard. But it is the first to open in South Philly, joining a growing sector across the city that also includes Venturf0rth near 8th and Callowhill and Benjamin’s Desk at 17th and Walnut. SPCOW’s rates are about on par with the others, or even about 20 percent less in some cases.

This development is great news for the neighborhood, which has been experiencing a nice little boomlet in office spaces, which we noted last week. Now we just have to get them to take care of that ungainly name. Anyone have any suggestions?

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One Response to South Philly’s 1st coworking space opens this week

  1. Brady Dale September 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Very excited about this. I will at least be an occasional drop in, for sure.

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