As the office fades, the WeWork era is reborn

Offices may be over for many workers, but coworking spaces are making a comeback.

Over 800 coworking spaces closed in the past two years, per Upsuite flexible workspace tracker. Even some of the once-ubiquitous brands, like WeWork and women-only club The Wing, were already struggling when the pandemic hit.

Not anymore. Old coworking spaces are coming back to life and new ones are appearing. The advent of hybrid working and the slow return of business travel have the middle and upper classes looking for a place where they can have meetings, focus and find company: a coworking space.

The richest among them are ready to spend a lot of money for these needs. An exclusive coworking space called Colette that plans to open in Midtown Manhattan next spring will cost $36,000 a year, Bloomberg reported this week. That’s on top of a $125,000 purchase price, which can be resold to hopefuls looking to pass the velvet rope — Colette caps membership at 300.

Colette will have 23 private offices, a members’ lounge and uniformed staff to serve members. It was developed by billionaire Edmond Safra and private equity investor-turned-restorer Juan Santa Cruz with the aim of filling the void that nearly extinct offices left for the world’s wealthiest workers.

Many of those workers have second homes in the city but don’t need a full-fledged office, Santa Cruz said. Bloomberg. Without a home base during their visit to New York, they made appointments in semi-public spaces such as restaurants or hotel lobbies.

“So why not develop a coworking club, at the highest level, for people used to having an amazing office?” explains Santa Cruz.

Coworking for all

It’s not just the 0.01%: Many workers are looking for a space to work with others — and maybe grab a free coffee — on days they’re not in the office. Some of them live in a different city from the head office, making coworking spaces one of their only opportunities for social interaction.

Case in point: Seattle-based 20,000-square-foot coworking space Thinkspace is 100% occupied in May, according to its CEO, Peter Chee. On Thursday, perennial coworking space WeWork reported a 37% year-over-year increase in revenue, which analysts attributed to hybrid working and a boom in short-term leases.

“There has never been a stronger time for flexible office spaces,” WeWork Vice President Robin Cardoso told the tech news site. GeekWire in May. “The last few years have fundamentally changed the idea of ​​the office, demanding an entirely new approach to how companies think about their real estate footprint.”

Unlike most flimsy businesses, coworking spaces can build on their momentum and continue to thrive even in the face of an impending recession. In these uncertain times, employers and employees may turn more to the shorter, more flexible and affordable options that coworking spaces offer tenants.

As Don Morrison, CEO of coworking space TractionSpace, put it Geekwire“The 10-15 year lease age is probably coming to an end.”

For many offices in large cities, that end is already here.

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