Coworking space for women closing downtown office permanently

The Broad will end its run at 209 N. Foushee St. this summer. (Jack Jacobs)

A women-focused coworking space has decided to permanently close its downtown office.

The Broad, which opened in 2018 and had 100 members as of March, plans to move out of 209 N. Foushee St. by the end of July. The space had been temporarily closed since March in response to the coronavirus, when it and other local coworking companies sought to navigate the pandemic.

Even with the recent loosening of public health guidelines, founder Ali Greenberg determined the requirements didn’t jell with the business model and opted to let go of the office space.

“The Broad has always been much more than a workspace and the necessary adaptations that all brick and mortar businesses will need to implement in the wake of COVID-19 would have meant our community-centered space would become a purely functional office,” Greenberg said in an email. “Without the ability to gather – whether it be for a member meetup or a celebration rental – the physical space no longer made sense for the business model.”

The Broad is closing its coworking space in July. (Courtesy Alexis Courtney)

Greenberg said she had been weighing such a move and the pandemic accelerated the change. Greenberg said she will join Lighthouse Labs RVA, a startup accelerator in Shockoe Bottom, as an outreach manager.

“I had already decided to not renew our lease. I was ready for my next chapter, so the pandemic just moved things along a bit quicker than initially planned,” she said.

In addition to leasing shared workspace, The Broad offered yoga, community space and other amenities. Since the coronavirus hit in March, The Broad has offered some of its programming digitally. That likely will continue, Greenberg said.

“We will continue to be a digital space for our past members, will potentially host one-off events in the future, and will continue to use our social channels as a platform to share content,” Greenberg said.

The three-story building The Broad is moving out of changed hands in February when an LLC affiliated with architecture firm PSH+ sold the building to North-Carolina based Gregg Investments LLC for $1.1 million. PSH+ bought the building in 2016 for $600,000.

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Fred Squire
Fred Squire
1 year ago

Serious question, how does one operate a business in today’s climate that clearly discriminates based on sexual orientation, in fact their marketing plan seems to embrace the discrimination?

Are members of the LGTBQC community not welcomed if they are not biologically female?

Fred Squire
Fred Squire
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred Squire

I guess they are truly operating as a social club and not a business. I guess that explains it.