Benjamin’s Desk Opens The 8th Floor

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Benjamin’s Desk celebrated innovation last week with a cocktail party on “The 8th Floor,” its new work and party space at 1701 Walnut Street. Benjamin’s Desk is a coworking space for mobile professionals, entrepreneurs and startups on Rittenhouse Row.

Individuals and companies can rent space at the Desk  from $99 a month to $1,100 plus for full-size companies. The atmosphere is similar to a think tank, with lots of people from different companies working alongside each other. At any given time conversations and ideas can flow from one work station to another, and a new innovative idea is born.

The newly-acquired eighth floor will welcome the first “smart-space” in Philadelphia, featuring Nest thermostats, seven flat-screens, Philips Hue lighting and streaming video, all of which can be controlled by an iPad. The space can be rented for events to outside vendors. Eventually it will have a roof deck.

More of HughE’s photos from Benjamin’s Desk after the jump »

Comcast May Sell Electricity in Pennsylvania

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Comcast has been busy lately. The company now owns 100 percent of NBCUniversal, it’s preparing to build the tallest building in the city again and Brian Roberts is the possible “kingmaker” for a deal with Time Warner Cable.

As part of the company’s expansion, Comcast is also looking to diversify its services. You’ve seen this already with XFINITY Home, which offers security and remote home control. And now, it’s going to sell electricity.

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5 Questions: Now That We Have a Land Bank, How’s It Going to Change the City?

Anne Fadullon

Anne Fadullon

Mayor Nutter’s signing of a new “land bank” bill on Monday was greeted with applause from the development community. Anne Fadullon, president of the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia, was among those offering praise. She’s hoping the new process will allow redevelopment of the city’s blighted areas without running roughshod over neighborhood interests that often find themselves in opposition to big new plans.

“I think really what’s encouraging about the process that’s happened so far is it’s really brought groups of people and entities together,” she said. “We’ve all kind of had to sit around the table and look at each other’s different perspectives.”

Fadullon talked to Philly Mag this week about the new land bank legislation, why it’s needed, and how it might remake the city’s landscape. Some excerpts:

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Citibank Pulling Out of Philly, Too

On the same day we learned Sunoco headquarters were leaving Center City, comes this: “Citibank, the global Manhattan-based loan and investment company, is shutting its remaining Philadelphia branches — five in Center City, one each in Germantown and Bala Cynwyd — and offices in Cherry Hill and the Wilmington and Princeton areas, according to letters sent to local customers this week. ”

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“Philadelphia Business Journal” Names Region’s 25 Top LGBT-Owned Companies

philadelphia business journal top lgbt owned companiesTomorrow, the Philadelphia Business Journal (PBJ) will debut its list of 2014′s 25 top LGBT-owned companies at a cocktail reception at Cuba Libre. The honorees include a variety of businesses — from Midtown Village natural beauty nook duross & langel to the Giampolo Law Group. PJB Editor-in-Chief Crag Ey says this is the second year they’ve released this LGBT-specific list, and the objective is to “show the largest businesses in a certain category.” This year’s winners were chosen based on objective criteria obtained from a questionnaire sent out to employees. ”We also ask a few bonus questions,” he says, “Like have you ever been discriminated against, or whether or not its easier to get a bank loan than it was 20 years ago.”

I’ve got the complete list below of honorees below, broken up into categories so you can easily reference it next time you’re in the market for, say, a gay-owned realty group or catering company. It goes without saying that these are the first companies to dole out your dollars to.

The cocktail reception takes place tomorrow, Dec. 3, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Cuba Libre in Old City. To reserve a $52 ticket, go here.

See the complete list of winners after the jump »

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