Thu. Aug 18th, 2022

A building covered in graffiti

Brittany Chang / Insider

  • EmpireDAO is leasing a multi-floor space in a historic New York City building.

  • Membership and access to desks can be purchased through NFTs.

  • See inside the space designed as a meeting point and coworking space for web3 creatives.

Web3 – the next generation of the internet based on blockchain technology – has come to the “real” world.

A room with large windows, a colorful rug, couches, chairs.  There's someone working at a table nearby.

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And one DAO – short for “decentralized autonomous organization” – has decided to call New York City its home with the promise of giving creators and developers in the web3 space a physical community.

People are working at a long table nearby in a room with colorful rugs, chairs, bar cart, lights.

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EmpireDAO is now leasing several floors in a landmarked New York City building …

A room full of large windows, shelves, chairs, a workstation.

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… and it has filled the rows of rooms with plenty of desks and young web3 enthusiasts.

Long desks with office chairs, shelves on the wall, and windows with views of nearby buildings.

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Its goal is simple: facilitate and expedite the growth of web3.

A long table with chairs, table lamps.  Someone is working at the end of the table.  People are standing nearby.

Brittany Chang / Insider

Source: EmpireDao

EmpireDAO – a concept inspired by hacker houses – first moved into the building in May after months of generating capital and interest, Mike Fraietta, the founder of EmpireDAO, told Insider.

A room with someone working at a desk, large shelves filled with items, and large windows.

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But nothing on the building’s exterior signals the existence of a growing hub.

A paper taped to the wall that says & quot; Web3 gives people property rights: the ability to own a piece of the internet & quot;

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The label-less entrance is covered in graffiti.

A building covered in graffiti

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And around the corner, there’s often a line of people waiting to enter the Supreme store, which shares the historic location with EmpireDAO.

A building covered in graffiti with a Supreme sign at the front.  There's a line out the door.

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Inside the multi-floor 34,000-square-foot space, the vintage elevator…

A small metal case-room that was once an elevator.  There's a metal stool inside.

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Detail wood detailing…

Paper notes tapped to a dark wood paneling

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… And worn floors are a reminder of the building’s historic life.

A room with rows of desk and chairs.  The walls are empty.

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But unlike 190 Bowery’s previous life as a bank, the building is now filled with plenty of web3, crypto, and NFT enthusiasts gathered around long tables and huddled over laptops.

A room with large windows, a colorful rug, couches, chairs.  People are working at a long table nearby.

Brittany Chang / Insider

Many web3 companies started out “remote-first.”

A room with rows of desk and chairs.  The walls are empty.

Brittany Chang / Insider

But according to Fraietta, there’s value in a physical space that operates like a conference by facilitating in-person interactions with other creators in the industry.

A room with lounge chairs, someone working at a desk, large shelves filled with items, and large windows.

Brittany Chang / Insider

To do this, the space operates loosely like a WeWork.

Long table, office chairs and large windows.

Brittany Chang / Insider

The building has several floors with rows of desk, kitchens, bathrooms…

Long tables and office chairs near shelves and large windows.

Brittany Chang / Insider

… Windows with sweeping views of New York City…

Long desks with office chairs, and windows with views of nearby buildings.

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… conference rooms …

A room surrounded by glass walls with shelves and a & quot; conference room & quot;  label on the front door.

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Large a large common room, event spaces, and a rooftop.

A water tower on a rooftop.

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Members can then use EmpireDAO as an “incubator” by paying for daily or monthly access through NFTs, which allows them to book one of the roughly 280 desks.

Two long tables with office chairs near a TV and open door.

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But unlike a traditional coworking space, EmpireDAO will have more rooms designated for creative use.

A room with a couch, long tables, office chair near windows.

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Looking ahead, the building will soon be home to a recording studio for musicians, equipment for digital artists, a production space for video producers, and even an event and performance venue for people who want to launch their projects.

A table on a colorful rug with a table and chair and two speakers.

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And someday, there could also be a gym, golf simulator, and nearby Airbnb-style apartments for visitors, Fraietta said.

A glass table with magazines above a colorful rug.

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Given the growing presence of DAOs, NFTs, crypto, and “decentralized finance” (DeFi) projects and startups, it should be unsurprising to hear that EmpireDAO has been receiving “hundreds” of inquiries a day, according to Fraietta.

Table, chairs, and large windows.

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But do not go flocking to EmpireDAO if you operate a large company.

Two people working at a round table on a patterned rug near large windows.

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It’s not accepting corporations who want to station sizable teams of non-creators in the space.

A large room with chairs, shelves, a small stage at the front.

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“We’re not a coworking space in the sense that your company can work here,” Fraietta said. “But if you have creators in your ecosystem and you wanna give them a place, that’s when you come to EmpireDAO.”

A glass table with office chairs near a hallway.

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EmpireDAO prioritizes independent creators and nascent small teams as long as everyone is working in web3 and, for the most part, investing in each other’s work via tokens.

A hallway with white walls, wood accents, lights.

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“Just by working in [EmpireDAO]we all kind of incestually own each other’s products, “Fraietta said.” There’s that kind of web3 skin in the game that’s inherent here, and that’s why it works. “

Long desks with office chairs, windows with views of nearby buildings, and art on the wall

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Several creators working out of the space were previously employed b web2 companies like Instagram and Amazon in Silicon Valley before making the switch to New York and web3…

A wall with a colorful circular design.  Two people are working at a table nearby.

Brittany Chang / Insider

… Which Fraietta believes is a strategic location because the city is a meeting point between Wall Street ‘”interest and capital” and the creatives who are “locked up at the HBOs, Facebooks, Googles and advertising agencies.”

The view of lower Manhattan from a rooftop.

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Of course, we can not talk about web3 projects without talking about the tumultuous crypto market.

A room with large windows, a colorful rug, couches, chairs.

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Crypto investors have lost plenty of money over the last few weeks.

Neon art showing a person on the lounge chair

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Source: Insider

However, this downturn does not really impact EmpireDAO, Fraietta said.

A piece of paper taped to the wall showing an old newspaper article with a headline that says & quot; internet may be just a passing fas as millions give up on it. & Quot;

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“There’s been zero hesitation here,” Fraietta said. “[EmpireDAO] is the creative layer, and the creative layer does not care about the underlying technology. “

A long table with chairs, table lamps.  Someone is working at the end of the table.  People are standing nearby.

Brittany Chang / Insider

For now, the focus is to build a portfolio of creators like musicians, artists, and even comedians who’ve found success with the help of EmpireDAO’s New York location.

A room with a long wooden table, chairs near a window.

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And despite the unpleasant crypto market, EmpireDAO has received plenty of national and international attention.

Three papers taped on the wall showing the phases of & quot; web & quot;

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So do not be surprised if you see an EmpireDAO space in cities like Denver, London, or Tokyo sometime in the future.

The view of the NYC skyline from a window.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

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