Is Co-Working Finally Set to Take Off in Houston

by CoyDavidson on June 24, 2016

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Co-Working Operations are Starting to Look at Houston

In the past, I have been fairly critical of my home city’s tendency to be behind the times in jumping on the co-working trend that is much more prevalent in other major markets around the country, particularly since we are the 4th largest city in the United States.

Hey that’s just Houston, as new trends tends to appear in Austin and Dallas before they take root in my city for whatever reason. It has kind of always been that way. Houstonians tend be a little sensitive to the perception that we are not a world class city, but we often are late to the party. However a string of recent announcements announcing new co-working operations and an expansion by at least one operator gives me confidence that the co-working trend is finally gaining some momentum in my city.

Level Office, a Chicago-based co-working space with two locations in Houston’s CBD, is expanding one of its downtown spaces to address increased demand. Level Office will move into an additional 8,000-square-foot floor at the 10-story Scanlan building at 405 Main Street this summer. The company currently occupies three and a half floors.

Third Palm Capital  has plans to repositioning of the former Exxon Chemical campus, a prime, 35-acre site on the Katy Freeway in the Energy Corridor. The interim plan calls for transforming  some of the existing office space on the site into a co-working location.

Serendipity Labs Coworking, a 3-year-old New York -based co-working company will open in downtown’s Esperson office development. Houston-based Cameron Management, Esperson’s owner, signed an exclusive franchise agreement with Serendipity for the Houston area, where it hopes to build 10 co-working sites.

We still have a long ways to go to catch up with New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle. I have done some preliminary research to get a handle of the volume of co-working space we have in Houston. My guestimate is there isn’t currently more than 200,000 square feet of coworking space in the greater Houston market and I am being generous when I throw out that number. To put that in perspective there is 230 million square feet of office inventory in Houston.

I have not heard any rumblings of WeWork the nations largest co-working operation is scouting for space in Houston, but it doesn’t mean they might not be (maybe I should make that cold call). The day WeWork arrives in Houston is when we can truly say co-working has arrived in in the nations fourth largest city.

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