Real-estate crowdfunding firm takes first bite of Philly market with Manayunk co-working space

 A Philadelphia bike trail ends abruptly at a parking lot near Pier 68.  (Steve Trader/for NewsWorks)

A Philadelphia bike trail ends abruptly at a parking lot near Pier 68. (Steve Trader/for NewsWorks)

A vacant commercial property in Manayunk will soon serve as the staging ground for a new co-working venture.

Brothers Simon and Adam Rogers are using 4120 Main St., the former home of Restoration Hardware, to launch the Transfer Station. The pair’s lease at the 8,500 square-foot building began Oct. 1.

“It feels incredible to walk in and say, ‘This is where we’re going to make it happen,'” said Simon Rogers.

The pop-up operation, which will be referred to as Transfer Station East, will closely mirror what the two hope will permanently occupy another Manayunk property less than a mile away.

The temporary space will feature, among other things, a retail gallery and a co-working area. The single-floor setup is expected to serve roughly 130 people.

“We can make it feel more like an open marketplace like Reading Terminal Market,” said Simon Rogers.

Artists and others will be able to sign up starting this week.

As the Main Street property is prepped for tenants, the brothers are also working to secure funding to purchase and renovate a single-story building on Green Lane, to be known as Transfer Station West.

The plan is to add at least one story to the property and use its cavernous basement.

The two have an agreement of sale, but will need more than $2 million to make their complete concept a reality.

To help with that effort, Simon and Adam have teamed up with Fundrise, a crowdfunding platform specifically geared towards real estate projects.

The goal is to raise $500,000 for what is, as of Monday, Fundrise’s first-ever project based in Philadelphia.

The Green Lane property also represents the first equity crowdfunded real estate project in Pennsylvania, according to Dan Miller, a co-founder of Fundrise.

Simon Rogers said it will take 12 to 18 months to finish work on the building.

Transfer Station East will likely be open for the next several months, potentially right up until Transfer Station West opens its doors.

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