The Empire Strikes Back
The Wall Street Journal’s recent article “CBRE Launches New Co-Working Business, Taking on WeWork” offers proof to points made in my recent blog, “The Sharing Economy: Does WeWork Work?” Here’s what I said: “[WeWork] does not have a monopoly on the concept. Ordinary landlords can easily replicate the model.”
And that’s just what CBRE plans to do with its new offering, Hana. Hana’s main offering, Hana Team, offers professional teams (8 – 300+ people) customizable space with desirable amenities. Each Hana facility will also contain Hana Meet, on-demand meeting rooms, and Hana Share, shared desks and coworking space.
In Stan’s Opinion
There’s no doubt WeWork has changed the office leasing paradigm. But I do doubt the company will survive in the long run. Their concept can be easily replicated, and existing landlords control what happens in their buildings. In addition, companies like Regus have adapted their flex space model, and CBRE announced an initiative to compete with WeWork.
I think flex space works best in a rising market when demand is high but will suffer disproportionately when the markets soften. It will also cause lenders to look hard at who is behind the lease.
Do you think WeWork can be successful in the long-term? Do you foresee other companies, like CBRE, joining the flexible office space market?