Old Warehouse to be Cutting-Edge Creative Office
Obsolete warehouses are prime candidates to be remade into creative office space these days, but it's rare to find one centrally located in a major city like Philly, Alliance HSP operating managing partner Rich Previdi tells us (he's the man in black, snapped at the Steve Jobs Building on the Pixar campus with colleagues Max Ryan, Brett Hamilton and Matt Handel). So when the company had the chance last year to acquire a 250k SF warehouse four blocks from Independence Hall, it jumped on it. Now it's remaking the property into SoNo, a bi-level, open plan office building with 24-foot ceilings, 15 sawtooth skylights, numerous conference pods and alcoves, an amphitheater, custom art and vertical window slots.
"We want to be part of the transformation of Northern Liberties, and take advantage of that transformation as the area attracts Millennials and the companies that employ them," Rich says. There's a lot of demand for large blocks of open space to facilitate collaboration among employees and help recruitment, and Alliance HSP has experience in reinventing warehouses into creative office space. Even so, Rich explains, the company's redevelopment team visited a number of well-known creative offices, especially on the West Coast—Salesforce, Pixar, Airbnb and some others—to get a sense of what's the cutting edge and bring it back to SoNo.