There was a very interesting article today in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com. It basically told the reasons that a 20-person digital marketing firm, NetPlus Marketing, chose to move its office from Conshy to Center City. The reasons given was that its workforce, and potential workforce, want to live and work in the city due to: commuting time, it is hard to say Conshohocken, and the energy of being in a city.
As I read the story I imagined NetPlus Marketing leaving one of the towers or one of the office buildings along Washington Street. But the second time I read the story, this paragraph struck me as odd:
“Being in Conshohocken limited our job candidate pool,” Neifield said. “Some people just did not want to spend an hour and a half commuting on various buses to get to our office, and who can blame them.”
Neifeld is one of the owners of NetPlus Marketing. 90 minute commute from Philly? Buses? So I looked up the old address for NetPlus Marketing and it was at 625 Ridge Pike, which has a Conshohocken address, but is not technically in Conshohocken and absolutely not in Conshy’s thriving business district. Did anyone reading the story imagine NetPlus Marketing having its office out on Ridge Pike? Absolutely not. Maybe being in a nondescript corporate center on Ridge Pike was the cause for 90 minute commutes? Having an office on Ridge and complaining about Conshohocken is like, having an office in Bridesburg and complaining about Center City.
The developers that have redeveloped Conshohocken and West Conshohocken have focused on making it accessible to transportation to the city. Taking SEPTA to and from Center City takes around 30-40 minutes each way. Two huge tech companies have recently made their home in Conshy, Kynetic and NextDocs. Both make their homes along the SEPTA line. Both have 100 or more employees.
There is going to be about 400,000 square feet in new office office space built in Conshohocken over the few years. Are the developers wrong? Will it sit empty? Will the new 2,000 apartments sit empty? Will the new hotel sit idle as a beacon of unfilled promise?
Apparently 20 people working on Ridge Pike think so. Did Chris Hepp from the Inquirer even ask their old address? It is pretty relevant to the story isn’t it?