North Texas has one of the fastest-growing office markets in the country.
What’s growing even faster are the number of shared-office facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Companies that provide co-working operations have more than four dozen locations in D-FW. And real estate brokers predict that the number of shared-office spots could more than double as more professionals turn to new work environments.
“We are a 200 million-square-foot office market in D-FW,” said Mike Wyatt, executive managing director of commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. “What they would like to see is 2 percent of the market being co-working.
“There’s room for a lot of growth.”
Cushman & Wakefield estimates that over 1 million square feet of D-FW office space is occupied by co-working companies. That’s the equivalent of one of downtown Dallas’ largest skyscrapers.
The facilities range from the little over 1,000-square-foot shared-office operations near Fair Park in Dallas to huge multifloor skyscraper suites downtown.
The largest operator so far — New York-based WeWork — has almost 200,000 square feet of office space in downtown, Uptown Dallas and West Plano’s Legacy West.
WeWork just announced plans for a 47,714-square-foot location in Fort Worth.
At WeWork’s Uptown office on McKinney Avenue, workers can lounge on the outdoor terrace overlooking the skyline or hide away inside a metal “phone booth” to get business done. The largest office has room for 48 people and can be rented for the long or short term.
“A lot of people who started with us in January when we opened have already grown their office,” said Wesley Nicole Metter, the community leader at WeWork’s Uptown office. “We have a diverse group of people who come in every day.”
And don’t be surprised if some of them have their dogs under the desk.
“That’s good for people who used to work at home and bring their pets with them,” Metter said.
WeWork’s flexible workspaces can provide an office for a one-person entrepreneurial company, a fast-growing startup or an established major corporation that needs a place to house employees for a special project or extra hires.
WeWork says its locations start at $220 a month for a first-come, first-served workspace in a common area to $400 a month to start for the smallest standard glass-walled office.
“Estimates are that by the end of the year, 1.2 million workers in 14,000 locations across the globe will be in co-working space,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s senior director, Cribb Altman. “People always ask us ‘is co-working here to stay?’ “Absolutely, it’s already disrupting the traditional office suite model. There is a lot more collaboration that takes place and it’s more energized.”
At New York-based Industrious’ new shared-office location in downtown Dallas, tenants come to work to find breakfast food laid out on the kitchen counter, can grab afternoon snacks and hang around for networking parties at the end of the day.
All of that comes with a floor-to-ceiling view of the Arts District and downtown Dallas skyline.
“We are a hospitality-focused company and give our members lots of attention,” said community manager Jessica Martinez. “We have people in health care, real estate, software engineers, marketing and more.”
Christine Rogers recently moved with her marketing firm, Spark Farm, to the Industrious space.
“We were at another co-working office in the West End,” Rogers said. ‘This is our third co-working space. What we give up in private office space, you get in all these common areas.
“As a business owner, I have fallen hard for the co-working concept,” Rogers said. “It takes all the stuff I like least about running a business (office management and admin stuff) and farms it out, freeing me to pursue what I love doing most and why I went into business in the first place.”
Industrious occupies more than half a floor in the One Arts Plaza building.
Another co-working firm, Serendipity Labs, has announced a facility just down the street in the new KPMG Plaza tower.
Office building owners, who originally might not have been keen on the idea of shared-office providers moving into their market, are rethinking the game plan, said Cushman & Wakefield director Billy Gannon.
“Some landlords are getting very savvy and realizing it’s a great amenity for their building,” Gannon said. “It allows a tenant to fall in love with the building and potentially grow into it with their own larger office.”
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