Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kushner Brings WeWork Coworking Space to Piazza

by Steve Lubetkin,

Capitalizing on the Philadelphia tech startup community’s romance with coworking facilities, Kushner Companies has signed WeWork, a co-working space provider, to more than 30,000 square feet at The Piazza in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia, PA.

Coworking spaces allow entrepreneurial startup companies to rent small amounts of work space, either in common work areas or in small offices. The cross-fertilization of ideas that occurs when entrepreneurs work alongside each other has driven a number of successful Philadelphia startup stories, but WeWork joins a crowded coworking marketplace in Center City that already includes category pioneer Indy Hall, Benjamin’s Desk, The Hive Philly, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia, and a number of others, including The Bunker, which opened at Benjamin’s Desk earlier this week to provide space for military veteran-owned startups, with sponsorship by local media giant Comcast Corporation.

Kushner says the new lease marks another step in the company’s ongoing transformation of The Piazza into a vibrant live/work community.

Acquired by Kushner and Oaktree Capital Management in 2013, the Piazza consists of 500 apartments, 100,000 square feet of commercial space and an 80,000-square-foot plaza on a portion of the former Schmidt’s Brewery site.

“WeWork is an amazing company that offers lifestyle, aesthetic and community,” says Jared Kushner, CEO of the Kushner Companies.  “They have been searching for the right location to enter the Philadelphia market for several years, and the fact that they chose Northern Liberties shows they understand who their customers are, and that the Piazza is a location where they can draw the right population."

Kushner and its partners are in the middle of a multi-million dollar transformation of the Piazza that includes renovation of the apartments, construction of a new parking deck and the conversion of more than half of the existing commercial space for office use.

“The Piazza is a phenomenal property that can be even better,” says Kushner.  “The Northern Liberties area is particularly attractive to millennials and creative people. With the right partners such as WeWork, we are developing a dynamic live-work community that will make the Piazza a destination that sparks interaction of both residents and growing creative companies.”

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