Cre­at­ing places for shared spa­ces


The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Em­i­lie Rusch

Co-work­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tive of­fice space still makes up a tiny slice of Den­ver’s over­all of­fice mar­ket, but 2016 marked a big year for its growth.

Global co-work­ing gi­ant WeWork en­tered the Den­ver mar­ket this year, open­ing two hip, modern out­posts near down­town, and lo­cal play­ers grew their foot­print, too, with new and ex­panded lo­ca­tions.

By rough es­ti­mate, Den­ver added more than 155,000 square feet of co-work­ing space in 2016, and that’s just count­ing WeWork’s two Den­ver leases, Shift Workspaces’ new Golden Tri­an­gle cam­pus and Thrive Workplace’s ex­pan­sion in Ball­park.

More space is com­ing on­line in 2017, led by ex­ec­u­tive-suite be­he­moth Re­gus, which is bring­ing its new co-work­ing con­cept to Den­ver with the open­ing of the 33,400square-foot Spa­ces Den­ver near Coors Field in Fe­bru­ary. A 19,000-square-foot cowork­ing space for the construction in­dus­try is set to wel­come mem­bers in Jan­uary in Adams County.

“Co-work­ing is here and it’s here to stay,” said Hadley Cox, vice pres­i­dent of ad­vi­sory and trans­ac­tion ser­vices for CBRE Den­ver. “It will con­tinue to grow and thrive here in Den­ver.”

The Den­ver mar­ket has about 800,000 square feet of co-work­ing space, Cox said. (For com­par­i­son, to­tal of­fice space across the metro area was 111.7 mil­lion square feet as of the third quar­ter, ac­cord­ing to CBRE Re­search.)

Co-work­ing, as CBRE mea­sures it, is a clas­si­fi­ca­tion with­out a hard-line def­i­ni­tion, Cox said. Some spa­ces are pri­mar­ily pri­vate of­fices that share ameni­ties, while at oth­ers, most of the work space is wide open and shared.

One com­mon thread, though, is flex­i­bil­ity — you won’t find any five- or 10-year leases in the co-work­ing world. Most al­low in­di­vid­ual work­ers and com­pa­nies to “rent”

space on a month-to-month ba­sis.

“The way peo­ple work is chang­ing,” Cox said. “Peo­ple want op­tions that are flex­i­ble, both the in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors, the en­trepreneurs, the sole pro­pri­etor, but also the cor­po­ra­tions. They uti­lize these op­tions as flex­i­ble op­tions while they grow or make an en­try into a new mar­ket­place.”

With so many new spa­ces open­ing, over­sat­u­ra­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the down­town core and for pri­vate of­fices, is a con­cern for Cre­ative Den­sity founder Craig Baute.

“We need to grow into our sup­ply,” said Baute, whose Den­ver co-work­ing space tar­gets free­lancers, re­mote work­ers and small teams. “Right now, peo­ple are hav­ing to do a lot of spe­cials, a lot of deals for pri­vate of­fices. There are va­can­cies.”

In Baute’s mind, though, Den­ver is at a “tipping point where a lot of small busi­nesses are go­ing to co-work­ing first in­stead of go­ing to their pre­vi­ous op­tions.”

“We’ve ed­u­cated the mar­ket,” Baute said.

A new monthly sub­scrip­tion ser­vice — like gym-cen­tered ClassPass but for cowork­ing spa­ces — that Baute is help­ing to launch in Den­ver aims to grow that de­mand even fur­ther.

Start­ing at $49 for four vis­its a month, Deskpass of­fers its mem­bers the abil­ity to work at more than a dozen in­de­pen­dent co-work­ing spa­ces in the Den­ver metro area and Fort Collins. The list is grow­ing, too — Frisco’s EVO3 of­fi­cially signed on to par­tic­i­pate just this week, Baute said.

Den­ver is the third mar­ket for the app­based ser­vice; Chicago and Los Angeles were the first two and a mem­ber­ship al­lows ac­cess to co-work­ing spa­ces in all three cities.

“Over 85 per­cent of peo­ple us­ing Deskpass have never used co-work­ing be­fore,” Baute said. “It’s ex­pand­ing the mar­ket.”

Thrive Workplace’s Ball­park and Cherry Creek cam­puses are among the Den­ver co-work­ing spa­ces par­tic­i­pat­ing in Deskpass.

Thrive com­pleted an 11,500-square-foot ex­pan­sion of its Ball­park lo­ca­tion this year, adding a lower level with 25 pri­vate of­fices, drop-in work space, a train­ing room and me­dia and edit­ing lounge.

“Our big­gest strug­gle is when some­one is in­ter­ested in co-work­ing but goes to a co-work­ing space that doesn’t fit their needs,” co-founder Chad John­son said. “This re­ally lays the ground­work to spread the word more and be more or­ga­nized and help the co-work­ing spa­ces around us.

“We re­ally feel like to­gether this will make us more powerful.”

Photos by He­len H. Richard­son, The Den­ver Post

Tru­maker em­ploy­ees Denice Dampier, left fore­ground, and Kate Rosen­berger work at Thrive Workplace in Den­ver as an­other user of Thrive vis­its the com­mon kitchen. Tru­maker makes cus­tom cloth­ing for men.

Noel Phillips, em­ployed at Tru­maker, a cus­tom men’s cloth­ing com­pany, works at her space at the Thrive Workplace near Coors Field. Thrive has a sec­ond lo­ca­tion in Cherry Creek.

90 Day Sales Man­ager em­ployee Bruce Lund, left, fin­ishes an in­ter­view with job-seeker Jon Van­der Hoek in the open space at the Thrive Workplace in down­town Den­ver on Wed­nes­day.

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