Startups looking for coworking options in the Camden area have a new choice: Waterfront Lab, located in the converted National State Bank Building, at 121 Market Street. Waterfront Lab hopes to fill the gap created when the New Jersey Economic Development Authority sold the building that had housed Camden CoLab.
Speaking at the UP Conference at Camden’s Waterfront Technology Center in January, James Haley of City Invincible noted that his company, a merger of four urban- and architectural-design firms, had chosen to move to Camden to be part of the revitalization effort there. “One of our foundational principals is that we consider ourselves to be designers of communities first,” he said. The firm bought the abandoned bank building for $1.1 million.
“We see the reemergence of Camden as a tremendously positive situation, and we want to be on the ground floor of that revitalization effort,” he said. Haley presented a stunning redesign that will comfortably and efficiently service clients. It will also announce the firm’s “presence as a regional design player on this side of the Delaware.”
Haley said that part of the redesign is the Waterfront Lab coworking facility, which will take up approximately 3,000 square feet on the second floor of the converted bank building and will share common areas. There will be “plenty of room for startups who will be displaced with the revitalization and others who want to move to Camden and start anew.”
Available workspaces will include private offices, as well as open and dedicated desks. Waterfront Lab will be offering flexible plans featuring virtual mailboxes, community facilities and drop-in memberships. Amenities such as a conference room, lounge area, kitchen, snacks, and unlimited coffee will be available to members and event participants.
As of now, Waterfront Lab’s members consist of established startups; small business professionals; nonprofits; government contractors; remote workers; and freelancers from various industries, such as marketing, interior design, media and publishing, transportation, and more.
“We’re very excited to be a part of movement here at the Camden Waterfront,” said Melissa Le, office manager of Waterfront Lab, in a press release. “There is a tremendous amount of opportunity here.” Le added that she could see the Camden area becoming a thriving hub for tech startups.
Supporting the events and programs of Waterfront Lab is Waterfront Ventures, a Camden-based nonprofit organization promoting fun, innovation, and connections to attract businesses into the area.
“Waterfront Lab is more than just a coworking space, it’s a community development center, a think tank, and a brave step forward,” said Khai Tran, founder and CEO of Waterfront Ventures. “We, Waterfront Ventures, will be hosting programs and events at the Waterfront Lab, including our Lighthouse Mentorship and Entrepreneur 101 Program.”
There will be a ribbon cutting at the new facility on April 3, with government officials and other interested parties. The public is invited.