DC developer jumps on the return to coworking spaces

Self-employed, independent contractors and freelance workers are returning to coworking rental spaces, and D.C.’s Douglas Development is jumping in with two new coworking spaces in historic buildings — one in Columbia Heights, and one by Howard University.

“We’ve been seeing an increase in companies and professional individuals seeking creative, collaborative workspaces, without having to commit to a traditional long-term lease in a corporate office space,” said Artur Samofalov, director of business operations at Douglas Development.

The two coworking spaces are part of Douglas Development’s new Mark Collection.

The Mark Manhattan Laundry, at 1328 Florida Ave. NW, is in Douglas Development’s retail redevelopment of a streetcar, printing and laundry building dating back to 1877, and includes coworking amenities, such as concierge staff, a meditation room and stocked kitchens.

Douglas Development opens new coworking spaces in historic D.C. buildings. (Courtesy Douglas Development)

The coworking space at the Wonder Bread Factory, the former bakery for the Wonder Bread Co., at 614 S St. NW, opened earlier this year as the Mark Wonder Bread Factory, and includes two rooftops and terraces, and a communal bar and lounge.

Both spaces highlight the buildings’ historical architecture.

Both replace former WeWork coworking spaces. WeWork closed several of its D.C. region locations during the pandemic, but still has more than a dozen locations in the area. WeWork remains one of D.C.’s largest single leasers of office space.

A third Mark Collection location will open soon near the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station.

Private offices at the Mark Collection coworking sites start at $780 a month. Designated desks start at $500, and touchdown workstations, shared spaces available on-demand, start at $350.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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