Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Coworking Company Benjamin’s Desk Takes 10,000sf at The Curtis

by Steve Lubetkin, Globest.com
Coworking firm Benjamin’s Desk has taken 10,000 square feet of space at The Curtis, Keystone Property Group’s newly repositioned 900,000-square-foot office, apartment and retail property at 601 Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

With two Philadelphia locations and several others currently under consideration, Benjamin’s Desk has become a popular operator of the coworking office concept. With tenants including entrepreneurs, startups and others looking for non-traditional office facilities, Benjamin’s Desk offers a workspace tailored to its tenants’ unique needs and committed to driving their productivity.

“The coworking environment in many ways reflects our overall revitalization strategy for the building,” says Rich Gottlieb, senior vice president of Keystone. “We aim to foster a vibrant, collaborative setting for visitors and workers alike, and the addition of Benjamin’s Desk contributes to the sense of community we are looking to create.”

"Our partners at the Keystone Property Group have shared with us their vision for a hub in Washington Square where entrepreneurs can live, work, and be entertained,” says Anthony Maher, co-founder and CEO of Benjamin’s Desk. “Likewise, many existing and potential Benjamin’s Desk members have told us that they could benefit from having access to space, customers, and talent near both Washington Square and Old City."

After acquiring the property with Mack-Cali in 2014, Keystone is leading a reinvestment program at The Curtis, including a revitalized ground-floor streetscape and building atrium. The program also includes the development of 59 luxury apartments in a portion of the building's existing office space and the addition of a ground-floor restaurant and retail component to the property, with the aim of creating a renewed experience for office tenants and prospective residents at the historic mixed-use Center City property.

“With the improvements to these iconic properties, we’re playing a role in the creation of the sort of vibrant urban corridor in great demand among today’s energetic workforce,” says Gottlieb. “With the revitalization of Center City, the Market East neighborhood has truly become a live-work-dine environment, and we see its attractiveness continuing to grow.”

Keystone is also reimagining 100 Independence Mall West, which is located several blocks north of the Curtis. Keystone led a joint-venture group that acquired the property – the historic Dow Chemical building – and has creating a dynamic indoor-outdoor experience for pedestrians, replete with the popular Independence Beer Garden and a La Colombe coffee café.

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