With a growing remote workforce and self-employed professionals, coworking spaces are now a normal fixture in many commercial buildings.
Opening a coworking space in your commercial building can be a profitable venture. Office sharing company WeWork was valued at $5 billion at the end of 2014. But important considerations exist for building owners considering investing in these or leasing to a group that’s secured funding to open a coworking space.
Here we’ll discuss what a coworking space is and why they’re popular. Next, we will look at a couple of area coworking spaces including their amenities and pricing structure. Finally, we’ll explore important considerations for commercial property owners.
What is a coworking space?
Instead of working from an office or home, some people choose to pay to work in a large area with others called a co-working space.
These spaces are made up of several individuals and/or small businesses. A business or individual pays a monthly membership fee, which includes different amenities based on the level of membership. Some services, like coffee and printing, are included in the cost of membership. Additional facilities and/or services are available, usually for an hourly rate.
Members often get 24/7 access to the facility, while certain lower levels of memberships or drop-ins can only access the co-working space during designated hours.
Why are co-working spaces so popular?
- a quiet space to work away from home
- built-in community
- more job control
Many people struggle working at home for a variety of reasons. In addition to the many distractions, there’s also an extreme sense of isolation. Also, working hours may be limited if someone is living with others
Co-working spaces take care of all of these issues by providing a environment without the distractions of home, as well as the ability to collaborate with others who have different skill sets.
Popular co-working companies DC
A number of co-working facilities in the DC area have multiple locations, allowing members discounted or free use of multiple facilities. Here’s a quick list of area facilities to give you an idea of what’s included in the monthly fee, amenities available, and pricing:
641 S St NW, Washington, DC 20001
(+ Several other locations locally and worldwide)
1624 14th St NW, Washington, DC
(+4 DC locations)
1751 Pinnacle Dr #600, McLean, VA 22102
(+3 locations in VA, 1 in DC)
11911 Freedom Drive, 8th Floor, Reston, VA 20190
113 S Columbus St, Ste 100, Alexandria, VA 22314
8121 Georgia Ave, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910
9841 Washingtonian Blvd, #200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(+3 locations in MD and 1 in Tysons)
1 Research Court, Suite 450, Rockville, MD 20850
(+5 locations in Northern VA and 1 in DC)
Considerations for commercial property owners
When looking into renting space to office sharing companies, or perhaps starting your own, a variety of options exist.
Mega successful WeWork rents entire floors of office buildings, retrofits them to meet their needs and sublets them to members.
This means the following changes to normal protocol may be necessary:
- Allowing subleasing
- Full-service leases
- Providing furniture and utilities
- Extensive investment in building upgrades
- Faster response times by property managers
Review the links to local coworking sites to get an idea of what amenities are available in your area. This provides a baseline of what amenities local coworkers expect. It also gives you an idea of necessary upgrades to your building in order to make your coworking investment successful.