Greg Dell’Aquila wasn’t intending to create a post-pandemic coworking space of the future when he first envisioned a new look for the 80,000-square-foot property at 50 Harrison St. in Hoboken. It just worked out that way.
Dell’Aquila, the CEO of the Hoboken-based JDA Group, in early 2020 launched a yearlong initiative focused on transforming the HBC building into a unified community under the Mission 50 brand umbrella.
The result is a coworking space with flexible offerings ranging from open seating and small private offices to enterprise spaces able to accommodate teams of up to 100 or more. Dell’Aquila calls it a coworking community that responds to evolving workplace needs and fosters collaboration, creativity and productivity.
“Coworking and working more collaboratively have been trending for many years, and, while COVID-19 was a bump in the road, the new generation of workforce still expects an immersive work ‘experience’ and to be part of a larger community regardless of one’s business or profession,” he said. “That is what we are providing at Mission 50.”
What he is providing might be the answer for the coming years.
Dell’Aquila feels the work-from-home lifestyle model and its lack of in-person communication has proven challenging for individuals that need to connect and collaborate. Many also are having a hard time bifurcating their personal and professional space, and the pandemic has forced companies and their employees into a work-from-home environment, he said.
Mission 50’s multiple workspace environments include shared coworking spaces, with the option of coworking seating or dedicated desks; privacy pods, allowing for undisturbed solo or teamwork; private office suites to accommodate individuals or small teams; and traditional, fully customizable office concepts.
Virtual offices/mailboxes are available as an add-on for members or as an option for businesses that require a work address but either do not need or are not quite ready to take on physical office space.
Dell’Aquila feels Mission 50 offers an integrated environment that fosters productivity, flexibility and creativity while prioritizing tenant and employee safety. Workspaces, he said, feature modern, energetic flair and cater to entrepreneurs ranging from solo workers and startups to seasoned businesses and traditional enterprises.
And it comes with style, Dell’Aquila said.
JDA partnered with marketing agency QuallsBenson to establish Mission 50’s redesign concept. Dell’Aquila feels Mission 50’s updated branding vision starts with an eye-catching exterior façade, with lively colors and distinctive artwork that separates it from an otherwise industrial landscape, he said.
“Graffiti art has really grown in Jersey City and the surrounding areas. Our team came up with the idea to not just paint the building, but to do it in a way that brings light to an area that needs it,” said Dell’Aquila said.
Outside amenities at Mission 50 include a bike shed with outlets to charge electric scooters, and a 1,000-square-foot patio with ample bench seating and games, making it easy for members to spend time outside.
“The overall space has a warm, comfortable and alluring vibe with the latest state-of-the-art technology and amenities throughout,” Dell’Aquila said. “The lobby has new flooring and lighting, and we revamped the lobby café to include seating. The second floor has a bar/lounge, shuffleboard, high-top tables, televisions, arcade games and video gaming systems. It’s an area where someone can escape, whether during the workday, at lunch or after hours.”
The property has a long history of serving businesses. It was developed in 2003 as a destination for small to midsized firms. In 2011, it became home to the “original” Mission 50, a 3,000-square-foot penthouse coworking space for entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers.
Now, Dell’Aquila feels Mission 50 is built to be a workplace filled with all things so many people are craving.
“Many people are tiring of the work-from-home environment and its lack of social interaction, but are trying to reconcile that with some trepidation about going back into the office,” he said. “Everything we have done at Mission 50 is designed to inspire people and get them excited about coming to work again without feeling like they will be trapped inside an office all day.”