WeWork Comes to College Park
Co-working Space Draws Tenants to Discovery District
A new co-working space is giving both startups and established businesses a hip new home near the university—along with glass-enclosed conference rooms, craft coffees and Donkey Kong.
WeWork opened its first site on a college campus and the first in the state of Maryland in December, and celebrated its arrival last night with a gathering of more than 200 university officials, tenants, and local business leaders and lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.
“This is a wonderful match,” university President Wallace D. Loh said of the opening. “Having WeWork as part of our growing innovation ecosystem gives startups and entrepreneurs a campus home to work with our researchers.”
The space just behind the Hotel at the University of Maryland is the latest element in the Discovery District of Greater College Park, a $2 billion public and private investment to revitalize the Baltimore Avenue corridor. WeWork University of Maryland is steps away from the Diamondback Garage under the Hotel, which houses the Capital One Tech Incubator, Immuta and other companies and university resources.
“WeWork is thrilled to open the doors of our University of Maryland, College Park location,” said Lex Miller, director of business operations for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. “The unique partnership model is a first for WeWork and presents us with a huge opportunity to access the vast talent pipeline and innovative atmosphere of the UMD campus.”
Inside WeWork University of Maryland, one of 425 worldwide, is a variety of working options: “hot desks” (shared spaces in a common area) and dedicated desks, private offices, office suites, sofa-filled lounges, tiered meeting areas and event spaces. Perks include front-desk service, arcade games, beverages like fruit-infused water and craft beers, and office supplies, high-speed internet and printers.
Tenants that have already moved into College Park’s 18,000-square-foot space, a former HVAC maintenance building, include architecture, law, and venture capital firms, a Terp-owned polling company and tech startups.
Many of those can support each other, including the largest tenant, the Maryland Small Business Development Center, a statewide network based at the university that offers advice and support to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“There’s an energy and a vibrancy here at WeWork that’s unparalleled. There’s a sense of purpose and entrepreneurship that’s infectious,” said Paul Bardack, executive director of the center. “It makes perfect sense for us to be co-located with a bunch of entrepreneurs who are looking to make their own entrepreneurial visions come true.”