The cloud hosting provider Linode spent $5 million on a historic building, it announced on 16th December 2015, to use as its new office space. The building, adjacent to the Betsy Ross House, is a 15,000-square-foot house in the Old City of Philadelphia that was built in 1902 to be the Union National Bank building.
It was also the setting for the 2004 MTV show, The Real World: Philadelphia. CEO Aker has now been looking at the building to plan what it might look like for his employees, as seen in the picture above.
This building can fit all of the 85 current Linode employees, and will also allow them to grow, as the space is big enough to fit 75 more people and allow them the space they need to work.
This would make them huge in comparison with the usual numbers of people and the space taken up by tech companies in and around the city of Philadelphia. As can be seen in the photos below, this building is an imposing setting for a company, and will likely become another great tech hub in Philadelphia.
Inside Linode's new Office at 249 Arch St. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Messler Photography
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Messler Photography
Linode was interested in the building for a year before they purchased it: they loved the classical beauty, historical importance, and also its ideal location in Philadelphia. It is situated at the corner of 3rd and Arch Streets, and this website is also central to the emerging hub of technology growing in the city, dubbed in 2014 by city resolution as N3RD Street, pronounced “Nerd Street”.
In a news release on their website, Linode said:
“Our team is elated to be joining this community of innovative, talented, visionary nerds. This is exactly the kind of neighbourhood a company like Linode is going to thrive in, and I think our Linodians are going to contribute tremendously to the culture on N3RD Street, which is already occupied by other great tech organisations like Devnuts, Seer, Indy Hall and WebLinc.”
As yet, the company hasn’t moved into the building: they are planning to restore the space, and so the CEO of Linode, Aker, has said they will retain their offices in Galloway, a town near Atlantic City, and Haddonfield in South Jersey. Once the time comes for the move, he and the rest of Linode will decide how to allocate their total amount of employees between their three offices.
Linode is currently taking RFPs from local architecture firms in Philadelphia and expects to start conducting renovations, and setting out design plans for the new office soon.
The move to Philadelphia has always been something that Linode was working toward and planning; this purchase comes only months after the company announced that they were on the hunt for an office space in the city.
Aker thinks that this area will “allow his staff to enjoy a hub of industry-specific innovation they haven’t been able to access in Linode’s other offices in Galloway Township and King’s Hall of Haddonfield, New Jersey.”
He also said:
“True innovation occurs when visionary people come together in an environment that stimulates their minds and fosters their creativity. The moment I saw this building and visited the N3RD Street community, I knew Linode’s future was right here.”
This building is one of the most historic and beautiful in Philadelphia: it was placed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places on January 6th, 1977. Throughout its history, this building has housed the Corn Exchange National Bank & Trust Co., been used as an art gallery in more recent years, and also the setting of an MTV show.
The Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter, said in a statement about Linode’s move:
“We are thrilled to welcome Linode to Old City. Linode is the latest in a long line of technology companies that have established a presence in Philadelphia in order to access our incredible talent pool and be part of our vibrant, dynamic and growing tech community. We wish the best of success for their continued growth in Philadelphia.”
Though Silicon Valley has long been the high point for the tech industry and startups in America, Philadelphia’s tech industry has expanded a lot in recent years; much of this growth happened between 2004 and 2012 when Computer Systems Design employment grew 134 percent, and the number of these firms in Philadelphia increased 60 percent.
The city’s authorities have provided support for the tech industry and startups over the years, and the Mayor, Nutter has said that Philadelphia’s local government will be “active in supporting startups whenever we can.”
This support has included the setting up of Startup PHL, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, which offers support and “grant to help people become entrepreneurs.”
This latest development in Linode’s story is also another development in Philadelphia’s growing technology sector and shows the business both expanding its reach, and that of this region. The renovation work is soon to be planned out properly and begun, and the office will open for business sometime next year.