The Hive 2.0, a hybrid coworking space, theater and retail hub in D.C.’s Ward 8 is full — despite the vast economic damage wrought by Covid-19.
“We found that amazing to be quite honest with you,” said Duane Gautier, the CEO of Arch Development Corp., which runs The Hive 2.0 and owns the Anacostia Arts Center building on Good Hope Road SE where it is located. The Hive offers members a low-cost place to work and help navigating the often complex world of business regulations.
The organization had braced for the worst.
“We thought the waitlist would go away and we were going to lose 20 to 25 or maybe even more of our members,” Gautier said.
Instead the coworking venue saw one private office member downgrade to a desk membership, and one private office member leave. But its waitlist for desks remains, and it is in the process of converting that now-available private office into additional space for its 64 coworking members.
The surprising, not-bad news is good news at a time where hundreds of thousands of small businesses have closed, unemployment remains high and coworking as an industry has taken hit after hit. RGN Group Holdings LLC, the company that operates Regus shared office suites, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a segment of its portfolio, and once omnipresent coworking giant WeWork is closing locations across the country and locally amid repeated devaluations.
But all is not blue skies for The Hive, which has seen foot traffic drop at its retail spaces, which includes MahoganyBooks, fashion and gift boutique Nubian Hueman, vintage shop Vintage & Charmed, vegan restaurant ELife and organic grocer Fresh Food Factory. The organization decided to waive rent payments during the pandemic, and those retail businesses will begin paying again in September, Gautier said.
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