CBRE Launches New Coworking Brand, Hana

By backing Hana, CBRE is the latest real estate services firm to enter the flexible space sector.
  • CBRE is launching its own coworking brand in 2019 led by Andrew Kupiec, former Zipcar executive
  • ‘Hana’ will provide private flexible offices for corporate teams alongside classic coworking memberships
  • By backing Hana, CBRE is the latest real estate services firm to enter the flexible space sector and poses a significant challenge to the likes of Knotel, IWG and WeWork

Global real estate giant, CBRE, has announced its entry into the coworking business.

The world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm has launched ‘Hana’ – a subsidiary of CBRE that will provide flexible office space and coworking memberships under management agreements with landlords.

Launching in 2019, Hana is a flexible workspace provider that operates three key functions:

  • Hana Team: Customised private office suites for corporate teams or organizations of 15 – 300+ employees. The suites are fitted out and branded to specification, and include access to meeting space (Hana Meet) and on-site coworking (Hana Share).
  • Hana Meet: Meeting rooms and event space bookable by the hour or the day, both by existing clients as well as external bookings.
  • Hana Share: Classic coworking environment with shared desks and monthly subscriptions for freelancers and small teams. Also used as overflow space by clients of Hana Team.

Each unit acquired by Hana will provide all three workspace services on-site. However, as with most large-scale flexible workspace brands, the primary focus will be on private offices with coworking and meeting rooms taking up a smaller space allocation.

According to a statement by CBRE, Hana will partner with property investors “who want to differentiate and enhance their assets by meeting the growing demand for flexible office space” – in short, the new service provides an easy way for landlords to incorporate coworking into their buildings without the hassle of managing it.

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Rather than the traditional lease structure, this partnership agreement with landlords enables Hana to co-invest in the cost of building out and managing the space, and then share in the revenue.

“The way space is being used is evolving rapidly,” said Bob Sulentic, CBRE’s president and chief executive officer. “Companies want the flexibility to adjust their occupancy to meet changing business needs and a better workplace experience to attract and retain top talent.

“Reflecting this, we have already generated significant interest from building owners who are looking for a trusted partner to help deliver flexible space offerings, and have a robust deal pipeline.”

The Hana team is led by CEO Andrew Kupiec, who joined CBRE from Zipcar in 2017, and Scott Marshall, Hana’s president and chief development officer, who previously led CBRE’s investor leasing service line in the Americas.

It’s clear that landlords and real estate services firms are now stepping up their efforts to incorporate flexible space into their property portfolios and service provision.

By backing Hana, CBRE is the latest to make its move into the flexible space sector and now poses a significant challenge to the likes of IWG, Knotel and WeWork, which offer similar services to corporate clients.

Other commercial real estate firms that have intensified their focus on the market include Colliers International, which now has a dedicated flexible workspace team headed by Mark Bott; JLL, which has strengthened its flexible workspace team with the appointment of Dan Brown; and Savills, which launched Workthere – a standalone brokerage service specifically for flexible space requirements.