(Photo by Brian James)
By Roberto Torres / reporter
Photos by Brian James Photo Studio
(Photo by Brian James)
If you’ve ever been referred to as a “coworking purist,” odds are you’re going to shudder when you read this next sentence: a Philly real estate developer just opened up a 6,000-square-foot coworking space in Northwest Philly called KISMET.
Christopher Plant, a Chestnut Hill resident who’s not a stranger to the local tech scene, launched the coworking spot on March 17 featuring an eclectic cohort of 11 companies/members: from marketing agencies and engineering companies to a college professor and a writer.
A self-proclaimed “fan of Indy Hall and Benjamin’s Desk,” Plant had done some leases before in that building — 12 West Willow Grove, a few minutes’ walk away from the Wyndmoor Station — as part of his work with Elfant Wissahickon Realtors.
“There was an old self-storage space that was not a best use and so I convinced the landlord to let me make a run at coworking,” said Plant in an email. “With my work in commercial real estate with a focus in Northwest Philadelphia, I knew there was a need for the type of space that I wanted to build.”
Full disclosure: We haven’t yet made the trek out to visit the space but — from the pictures — you could describe KISMET’s decoration as WeWork-y, what with its high ceilings, exposed airducts, polished surfaces and lounge-esque lighting. As usual, there’s a kitchen space and conference rooms, along with the ever-more-present indoor bike rack.
As for pricing, a floating desk at the Chestnut Hill space will run you about $350 monthly. Private offices start at $800.
For a quick look at the space, here’s a flashy “hyperlapse walkthrough” vid put together by Villanova, Pa.-based production company Creative Outfit.
Mind you, former attempts at posting up a coworking space in Northwest Philadelphia have not fared well in the past. For example, in 2013, an attempt to band together coworking moms and dads in the suburbs called Coworking for Parents called it quits before settling in on a space, citing difficulties finding a proper venue that could work financially. Manayunk’s Transfer Station shuttered in 2014 .
Can KISMET make its model stick? Is Northwest Philly’s quarry of mobile workers sufficiently large to keep those fancy lights on? Plant says yes (because of course he does). And the slate of customers he has already signed up is a good sign.
“I believe that there will be a great market for a more intimate coworking model on the fringes of traditional business districts and quasi-suburban commercial districts,” said Plant. “That is where we see ourselves. We also want to have a robust calendar of programming and content that helps foster a deep and committed connection with our tenants.”
At first glance, it sure seems that KISMET has all the makings of being another corporate play on the bubbling coworking biz. Plant will be the first to point out that initial impression.
“Many will consider my move into coworking as another example of a developer keeping on-trend, but I think I come to this naturally,” said Plant. “I have always been a connector and this is all about that.”
Maybe Wayne Kimmel was right. It is “all about staying in the mix.”
This Saturday, we will be in Conshohocken for the FUNFEST!
Stop by and enter the raffle for a free kids mini session this fall!
This year the Conshohocken Funfest will be showcasing local crafts, restaurants and businesses from our region.
“Live music will fill the event with stages being set up on 2nd Ave and 6th Avenue. A children’s area will be located between 3rd and 5th Avenues, featuring activities for all ages to enjoy! In keeping with tradition, a 5k race will kick off the festivities and begin at 10am. Vendors, crafters, local business, and local community groups will also add to the excitement of the day! See website for all event details!”
Saturday, September 17th
11:00 am – 6:00 pm Fayette Street
Between 1st Avenue and 9thAvenue
What is included?
During our session we will take several photos that I will edit and send to you via a link for you to view. You will receive a digital gallery of images and select your favorites. You can order prints directly form the site or download the files and have them printed at a service of your choice. I proudly use SmugMug and my clients have always been thrilled with the outcome.
Copyright and print release included.
Mini Family Session- One Family
Group Sitting and images of individual child/children time permitting.
Approximately 16-20 Images to choose from
Single Family Session- One Family
$325.00- 60 Minutes
Group Sitting,Shots of individual Children and a Sibling Pose, time permitting.
Full Digital Gallery
Extended Family Plus Session-
$650.00- 90 Minutes
Session will include an Extended Family Group pose, Individual Families pose, individual child/children poses, and sibling, cousin pose etc.
Full Digital Gallery
What a wonderful experience it was to be a part of this year’s Chestnut Hill’s fall for the Arts festival!
A big Thanks to Dave Barrus, My parents Ron and Janie James for all of their help and the many friends who came to support me!
Sunday October 6th (Raindate Sunday October 13th)
11 am to 5 pm
Each year Chestnut Hill welcomes Autumn with The Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival. Everyone is invited to enjoy a day of art, music, culinary delights and boutique shopping as Germantown Avenue, between Willow Grove and Rex Avenues is transformed into an outdoor arts and crafts marketplace.
Chestnut Hill will serve as a backdrop for more than 150 talented artists from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and from as far away as New Mexico. A fabulous array of artistic choices will be on display including oils, watercolors, etchings, photography, sculpture, pottery, wood crafts, jewelry and accessories but that’s not all!
Germantown Avenue will be closed to all vehicular traffic as fine arts and crafts, live entertainment on two stages, exhibits, and children’s rides and activities, take place up and down the street between the 8000 and 8600 blocks of Germantown Avenue . Visitors can stroll the Avenue to view and purchase fine arts and crafts, enjoy live music or dine al fresco. Children can create their own works of art in sand or wood or choose a favorite ride in a special amusement park. Admission to the festival is free.