Leave it to the Silverman brothers to make use of accessories from the old St. Francis Hospital in a unique way. Art work made from the hospital clocks decorates the second floor hallways of the new work space they made available for businesses on Nov. 1 in the Charles & Company building overlooking Grove and Montgomery Streets in downtown Jersey City.
They’ve also done a creative repurposing of the cabinets, desks, doors, windows, and even the x-ray reading lamps with which technicians used to study broken bones and such.
The office space for lease, christened “&co,” offers an open, public work environment with stations running along the windows, booths at the rear, a café counter and kitchen, and includes WiFi and conference rooms. The floor also features a full service bar and meditation room.
“&co,” Eric Silverman said, “is Jersey City’s hub for interesting and friendly entrepreneurs and startup companies.”
Located within walking distance from two PATH stations, one at Grove Street and another at Marin Boulevard, the Charles & Co. building is becoming a hub for local entrepreneurs, and will soon also host the main officers of the Silverman development company, also on the second floor.
John Reichert, an executive at Silverman, said artifacts from historic St. Francis Hospital in the Hamilton Park section of the city were saved after the company bought and renovated the buildings several years ago. The artifacts have become elements for both Silverman offices as well as the work space next door.
These elements add an art deco flavor to the work environment, which organizers hope will serve as a cultural center for local artists and creative events such as fashion shows, wine tastings, music, and art affairs.
Eric Silverman’s vision is to galvanize the downtown community and provide incentives to keep talent local and make Charles & Co. Jersey City’s hub for interesting and friendly entrepreneurs and startup companies.
Along with the fundamental infrastructure needed to run a business, “&co” will be a place “where purpose finds its power,” offering members access to an elevated community and influential network of creative talent.
The work space’s interior is the product of up-and-coming designer Rebecca Johnson. Her aesthetic balances classic design with vintage and modern furnishings to transform the 20,000 square foot sun-filled space into a place organizers hoped will “inspire and promote progressive thinking and creativity.”
The highlights include x-ray viewing boxes salvaged from their Hamilton Square development (formerly St. Francis Hospital) repurposed to display artworks, Finnish lighting by Muuto, and a living green wall.
Creating a new work world
The membership-based initiative aims to attract New Jersey’s ambitious entrepreneurs and creatives, offering an open plan workspace, a large event area, conference rooms, a full service bar, a meditation room, and a terrace, as well as 22 private offices.
Highlights in the fall line-up include an Eighty Mag Fireside Chat, tech meet ups, and a Hackathon and wellness series with Bloomsbury Square and Maximum Motion Fitness.
Paul and Eric Silverman, through their eponymous real estate development company have been reinvigorating Jersey City for 33 years. “&co” is the latest in a series of highly successful developments, and represents a first-of-its-kind venture in the area.
Using some of the same elements for the design of their own office space, the Silverman brothers will open their new offices shortly, moving from their offices near the Majestic building diagonally across the street to the expanded office.
“This is really an amazing location,” said Reichert. “The reuse of materials from the old hospital in a new location is inspiring.”
Charles & Co. has become a hub of small businesses, some relocating from other parts of downtown, others starting up in the new location, extending the traditional downtown shopping district farther south.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.