MakeOffices Clarendon

MakeOffices opened its 40,000 square foot, flagship Clarendon co-working space on June 1. This Thursday, June 16, the company will be celebrating with a “can’t miss” launch party — and you’re invited.

“Enjoy our tasty cocktails and drinks, indulge in food from local hotspots, and rock out to a live band,” says the event’s RSVP page. “Weather-permitting we’ll take the party out on the patio with cornhole. Come mingle with us and meet [hundreds of] fellow movers and shakers.”

The event will feature:

The party is taking place from 6-10 p.m. on Thursday at MakeOffices Clarendon (3100 Clarendon Blvd, second floor).

MakeOffices is a destination for startups, small businesses and freelancers who want to grow their network and get serious work done. Plus, your employees will love coming here too — the offices attractive and well-furnished, and the space is stocked with all the coffee and beer you could ever need. The staff is friendly and takes care of all of the office-related upkeep, allowing your company to focus on what it does best. Plus, there’s ample parking for those who need it and a direct, underground connection to the Clarendon Metro station.

ARLnow.com has its offices in MakeOffices Clarendon — from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday if you ask for us we’ll show you around, point out our office and tell you more about why we like it here.

The event is totally free, but you must RSVP here.

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MakeOffices, the Arlington-born coworking company that recently expanded to Chicago and Philadelphia, will be opening its new flagship location in Clarendon next month.

The 40,000 square foot space, on the second floor of the 3100 Clarendon Blvd office building, is set to open June 1.

“Clarendon is called home by many young entrepreneurs and high-achieving professionals, and MakeOffices gives them the place to meet across the table to share ideas and grow their businesses,” said MakeOffices CEO Raymond Rahbar.

The new office — the company’s second in Arlington, in addition to its original Rosslyn location — will be MakeOffices’ largest in the D.C. area. It will have 135 private offices, 454 desks, 10 call rooms, eight conference rooms, two wellness rooms, a relaxation room and five audiovisual booths.

“Its centerpiece is a large communal area comprising of a kitchen and event space that can host 70 seated and up to 150 at a reception-style event,” notes a press release. That kitchen will offer complimentary coffee, tea, fruit and, yes, a selection of three beers on draft. Also free: office-wide WiFi, conference room rentals and printer access.

The 3100 Clarendon Blvd location affords views of the Clarendon Metro station, easy walks to restaurants and bars and even a direct underground connection to the Clarendon Metro station. (That connection was sealed off while the high-security Defense Intelligence Agency was the building’s office tenant.)

MakeOffices is competing with the likes of WeWork in the booming coworking sector.

Like WeWork and other, smaller competitors, MakeOffices offers its members flexible month-to-month leases that allow small companies to grow and large companies to host teams without the need to build out an office or sign a long-term lease. Thanks to copious amenities, collaboration among members and other factors, coworking spaces have developed a reputation for producing happier employees than traditional offices, with their typical rows of cubicles and lack of beer.

Despite its large size, MakeOffices expects its new Clarendon location — which is still under construction and just beginning to host hardhat tours — to fill up quickly. (ARLnow.com is among the companies that will have an office there.)

Pricing for a single desk in the space starts at $300 per month, while private offices start at $700 per month. (Offices with a view cost a bit more.) Potential tenants can schedule a tour online.

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MakeOffices, the recently-renamed shared workspace company that got its start in Rosslyn, is planning to open a new flagship coworking space in Clarendon.

MakeOffices is constructing a new, 40,000 square foot, 550 seat office space on the second floor of 3100 Clarendon Blvd, across from the Clarendon Metro station and the Trader Joe’s.

The building, which is also home to running retailer Pacers and nightlife staples Mister Days and Mad Rose Tavern, formerly housed the high-security Defense Intelligence Agency.

MakeOffices Clarendon is expected to feature high-end interior furnishings, multiple conference rooms, two “bullpen” shared office spaces, dozens of private offices and a large central pantry/coffee bar.

It will be MakeOffices’ largest coworking space in the D.C. area, we’re told. (The company’s original office in Rosslyn remains open but is much smaller than its newer locations.)

The Clarendon location is expected to open in April. It is one of a number of new offices the company is planning, in D.C. and other major North American cities.

In the D.C. area, MakeOffices just opened a new coworking space in Reston and has another in the works in Logan Circle. The company also has plans to open offices next year in Chicago and Philadelphia, to be followed by new outposts in New York City and Toronto.

MakeOffices, meanwhile, will be getting some competition in Arlington, albeit a few miles away. WeWork, the largest company in the fast-growing coworking industry, is planning to open a new location in Crystal City this spring.

Disclosure: Local News Now, the publisher of ARLnow.com, has offices in MakeOffices locations in Arlington and D.C.

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Airbnb says it is cancelling bookings for next week in the D.C. area, in response to threats of violence during the Inauguration week.

Following the pro-Trump storming of the U.S. Capitol last week, there have been reports that armed groups are planning protests around the Inauguration, raising the specter of more potential violence.

Airbnb says the cancellations will help ensure that its local hosts are not hosting those planning to disrupt next Wednesday’s ceremony.

“Airbnb will cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the Inauguration week,” the company said this morning.” Additionally, we will prevent any new reservations in the Washington, D.C. area from being booked during that time by blocking such reservations.”

“Guests whose reservations are canceled will be refunded in full,” Airbnb wrote. “We also will reimburse hosts, at Airbnb’s expense, the money they would have earned from these cancelled reservations. HotelTonight reservations also will be canceled.”

More from the company:

Airbnb’s work continues to be informed by inputs from our local host community as well as Washington, D.C. officials, Metro Police and Members of Congress throughout this week. In particular, Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan and Governor Northam have been clear that visitors should not travel to the D.C. Metro area for the Inauguration. Additionally, we are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration.

Federal investigators have formed “a sedition and conspiracy task force” to further investigate last week’s Capitol chaos.

Arlington officials, meanwhile, have been discussing additional security measures connected to the Inauguration. Last night the County Board was in closed session for more than an hour “for the purpose of discussing plans to protect public safety as it relates to potential terrorist activity.”

Matt Blitz contributed to this report

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Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly column will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers. 

What did two childhood friends see in the title industry to make them think there was a big opportunity and a better way to serve agents, builders, lenders and home buyers?

We (Matt Paulson and Latane Meade) have known each other since a basketball league for 7 years olds in Virginia Beach where our dads coached and sometimes got kicked out of games for yelling at 16 year old refs.

Yep, it’s true.

We always discussed different businesses and finally teamed up to start Allied Title & Escrow a couple years ago. We saw an archaic industry which we thought we could shake up.

Today’s article is what we thought could be done better and what we put in place to make sure we could achieve those goals.

As we looked at the industry, we noticed a few consistent themes with title companies:

  • On the technology front, most companies seemed to behind the ball. Websites were outdated, not mobile friendly and most companies didn’t have a social media presence and weren’t engaging with their customers.
  • Reactive (vs proactive) communication — within the industry, title companies have a reputation for being hard to get in touch with and not responding quickly.
  • On a similar note, clients could rarely get in touch with the owners of the title company if a significant issue arose.
  • Feedback from customers — title companies weren’t consistently reaching out to clients to find out how their settlement experience went and how they could get better.
  • Flexibility — many times people buying or selling a home were too busy to come to the title company for the closing during a work day.
  • Atmosphere — the old law firm office feel (mahogany wood panels) from the 90’s still held true in many cases. Sure it’s title insurance and boring but why can’t the settlement experience be fun and cool?

How did we solve or improve on the industry?

  • We hired marketing experts to help create engaging content (blogs, social media posts) where we can interact with our customers and provide them marketing ideas that can improve their sales. A mobile friendly website was an easy fix!
  • Consistent lunch and learns educating agents and builders on hot topics (eg., TOPA in DC, IZ (Inclusionary Zoning) regulations, what marketing does and doesn’t work for agents.
  • Internally, we preach over-communicating and pro-active communication with our clients (agents, builders, lenders and consumers). Whether it’s responding immediately after a contract comes in or answering questions from agents, lenders or the buyers/sellers themselves, we always try to respond timely to questions.
  • Matt and Latane provide our clients with our cell phone numbers so they can get in touch with us 24/7 if they need to. We have a great team in place who typically can solve their questions or issues but if not we are always available.
  • Continuous feedback — we continuously reach out to our clients to ask them how we did. We might not always hit the mark perfectly but by learning how we can improve and constantly making tweaks, we are always going above and beyond to make a client’s experience top notch. Click here to see our Google Reviews from actual customers.
  • We provide remote settlements and will do a settlement anytime and anywhere so buyers and sellers can continue on with their busy lives.
  • Fun office atmosphere. Raised ceilings, Silicon Valley feel, coffee and beer on tap for buyers to celebrate their new home. Click here to see our office!

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Less than two years ago, Politico alumni Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz struck out and launched Axios, a media startup with a single goal: to “help people get smarter, faster.”

Since then, the company has grown so rapidly that it needed to leave behind its old office space at the MakeOffice coworking space at 3100 Clarendon Boulevard. But Axios isn’t going far — on May 30, the company moved in to new digs on the 13th floor of the same office building, on a 10-year lease.

Downstairs, they were “bursting at the seams,” Schwartz said. “I don’t think we had a free chair.”

The company’s Clarendon headquarters currently houses around 85 employees, of over 115 total. By the end of 2018, Axios aims to grow its staff to 150 across its Clarendon, New York and San Francisco offices.

Schwartz believes the 13th floor space will allow the startup to grow in a location that is the “physical manifestation of our principles.”

From conference rooms with glass walls labeled with Axios catch phrases (“Axioms”) like “Be Smart” and “Between the Lines,” to wood tables built in Wisconsin by VandeHei’s brother, the office is full of personal touches.

“We wanted an environment… where everyone felt that they belong,” Schwartz said.

The company’s work to build an inclusive culture is evident within and beyond its workspace, which includes a gender-neutral restroom and glass rooms to promote transparency. Placards on shared desks include names, titles, and short “why I matter” statements. And when new employees start, they input their pronouns on collaboration software Slack, according to company spokeswoman Megan Swiatkowski.

Employees have plenty of spaces to work, take breaks or perhaps do both: for instance, in a conference room with a table that can be converted for impromptu ping pong games or on treadmills that double as desks.

An area dubbed “Relaxios” features picturesque views of Arlington, and windows in the office’s kitchen capture D.C. landmarks like the Washington Monument. Instead of using the Relaxios space for something like an executive’s office, Axios has “democratized all the views,” Schwartz said.

Near the entrance, “Snaxios” offers a wide selection of food, from Goldfish to fruit and candy.

With interns starting today and the “People Operations” team reviewing applications for a number of open positions, Axios isn’t looking to slow down anytime soon.

“The space allows us to have the freedom to grow,” Schwartz said.

Check out more photos of Axios’s new space after the jump:

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A small business fair geared toward highlighting Arlington’s female-owned businesses is scheduled for Saturday (March 31).

The event wraps up Arlington Public Library’s Women’s History Month events for this year, and aims to highlight women who “make history every day in the operation of local businesses and nonprofits.”

Local products and services will be showcased and businesses can distribute coupons and free samples. Karen Bate, Awesome Women Entrepreneurs founder, will give the keynote speech, alongside other speakers addressing topics on women and business.

The small business fair will be held at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) from 11 a.m.-2 p.m on Saturday. The event is a partnership between the library and Arlington Economic Development’s Small Business Assistance Network.

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Photo by Daniel Kelly

D.C. restauranteur named humanitarian of the year, grand openings with free food next week, and other news of the day over in the District.

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Local News Now, the publisher of ARLnow, Reston Now and other local news websites, is seeking an individual of uncommon organizational and interpersonal skills to be our Manager of Accounts and Marketing.

This new position, within a growing startup-style company, will entail working closely with LNN’s Director of Operations and our founder to help achieve the marketing goals of our clients and of our company. This person will coordinate with clients and help them create successful advertising campaigns, while also executing internal marketing and digital lead generation campaigns.

Here’s what we are looking for:

  • Exceptional ability to communicate effectively with clients to ensure we are consistently meeting their needs and goals.
  • Ability to operate in a fast-paced and team-oriented environment.
  • A passion for problem solving and overcoming business challenges with high attention to detail.
  • Basic knowledge of digital marketing techniques. Understanding of Google DFP, Google Analytics and/or WordPress is a plus.
  • Technical aptitude and ability to quickly learn how to use new digital tools.
  • Ability to organize, juggle and prioritize multiple client accounts and campaigns.
  • Someone who is proactive, responsible and can work independently.
  • Prior sales or account management experience is a plus.

The position offers:

  • Competitive compensation.
  • Health insurance.
  • Energy-filled work environment in a Clarendon co-working space.

Do you possess the attributes listed above? Does helping to build a successful business model for online local news sound like a mission that you would like to support? If so, email us ([email protected]) a resume and a two-sentence explanation of what excites you about this opportunity. Please also note if you have any of the following optional skills/experience:

  • Graphic design/Adobe Photoshop.
  • News-style writing.
  • Digital inbound marketing and/or paid social marketing.
  • Notable social sports or pub trivia skills, should any inter-office competition arise.

Two Arlington-based companies are set to receive incentive-based economic development grants as they expand in the county.

Rosslyn-based technology company Higher Logic and Clarendon-based media firm Axios are both in line to receive $60,000 each under the county’s incentive-based Gazelle Grant program. The program, administered through Arlington Economic Development, encourages businesses to move into or stay in Arlington.

Under the terms of the grants, both companies must commit to leasing a certain amount of office space and creating more full-time jobs. If they do not fulfill the terms as of December 31, 2020, they will be required to pay back at least some of the grant.

For its grant, Higher Logic must lease at least 31,000 square feet of office space, maintain its existing 107 full-time jobs and create 133 new full-time positions.

Founded in 2007, Higher Logic had been exploring a new location for its headquarters, having expanded to take up 15,000 square feet by 2015. It will move to 1919 N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn and occupy an entire floor of the building on a 10-year lease.

Axios, meanwhile, must lease at lease 15,000 square feet of office space, maintain its existing 60 full-time jobs and create 60 new full-time positions.

Having initially located at the MakeOffices coworking space at the office building at 3100 Clarendon Blvd, Axios is set to expand into the 13th floor at the same address and sign a 10-year lease.

The Arlington County Board will vote on whether to award the grants at its meeting Saturday (January 27). Staff recommended approval of both.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly feature that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) It’s less than a year old, but media startup Axios is growing fast and ready to put down roots in Clarendon.

The company, which launched in January and has since commandeered its own wing of the MakeOffices Clarendon coworking space, has signed a 10 year lease for a floor in the same building, we’re told.

Axios will soon start the build-out process for its new space on the 13th floor of the office building at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. It expects to move out of MakeOffices and into the new space by mid-2018.

Roy Schwartz, who co-founded Axios with fellow Politico veterans Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, says the new space will provide room for Axios’ growing team while also offering “monumental views” of D.C. and Northern Virginia.

The new office is expected to have all of the accoutrement of a startup company that bridges the media and technology worlds: bigger versions of its employee lounge, dubbed “Relaxios,” and its free snack bar, “Snaxios,” in addition to features like a video studio and a “live shot” camera for television interviews of its journalists.

Schwartz says Axios currently has 90 employees but will likely have 120 by the time of the move and 150 by the end of 2018. Last month the company announced that it had raised another $20 million from venture capital firms, NBC Universal, Laurene Powell Jobs and others.

Axios received an economic development grant from Arlington County to incentivize it to stay here, Schwartz told ARLnow.com. The amount of that grant was not immediately available.

There were other factors that led the company to launch and now stay in Arlington, according to Schwartz. For one, he and Allen live in the neighborhoods around Clarendon, while VandeHei lives in Alexandria, making for an easy commute. Beyond that, however, Schwartz praised Arlington and Clarendon for its proximity to bars and restaurants, ease of access to D.C., and comparatively lower rent and lower taxes than the District.

“We’re very excited to be in Arlington,” he said. The company also has satellite offices in New York City and San Francisco.

Axios covers a number of news verticals, including politics and policy, business, technology, media, healthcare, science, energy and the “future of work.” While plenty of other national news outlets cover the same topics, Schwartz said the secret to Axios’ success is its focus on “smart brevity.”

In a world where there is “too much noise” in people’s lives, Schwartz said, Axios stands out by publishing radically concise articles that include only the most important facts and no filler.

“We’re going to cut straight to the chase,” he said. “Here is the information and, even more importantly, here is why it matters.”

Smart brevity extends to the business side of Axios. The company eschews programmatic banner ads, which Schwartz says are ineffective, and instead publishes very brief pieces of sponsored content on its site and in its popular email newsletters. Some recent clients include Morgan Stanley, Koch Industries, Fusion Media Group and Boeing.

Axios also holds sponsored events, which take advantage of smart brevity by featuring brief one-on-one interviews with newsmakers and subject matter experts, as opposed to long panel discussions.

Schwartz says its advertising has been working, producing audience engagement that is “off the charts.” Readers, he said, appreciate that in its coverage and its advertising, Axios is respectful of their time.

While BuzzFeed, Mashable and other venture capital-funded, online-only media companies have stumbled this year in their quest for growth, Axios is exceeding growth expectations. Schwartz credits smart brevity for that, in part, but also attributes Axios’ success to having the three pillars of its operation — the editorial, business and technology sides — working in concert.

Despite the challenges faced by others in the digital media industry, Schwartz he is “very confident” that Axios’ model is scalable and that its growth will continue.

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