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CBRE’s coworking business gives landlords a say

As flexible workspaces continue to flourish, big brokers such as CBRE are elbowing through to get a piece of the pie by offering landlords a better deal that cut out the middlemen.

Landlords once embraced coworking firms as a way to rent out their spaces, but now owners are fearing that major tenants will develop loyalty to operators, which would subsequently reduce their control over who occupies the space.

CBRE has launched its own coworking sector called Hana, where it plans to offer flexible spaces and partner with landlords to maintain their relationships with tenants.

Its first deal will be with Dallas’s PwC Tower in partnership with the building’s owner, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

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The company will take over three floors of the 900,000 square foot building that is expected to open midyear. Under the Hana partnership, CBRE and the landlords will share the expense of designing, building and profiting from the space.

Andrew Kupiec, chief executive of Hana, said that the firm hopes to have multiple locations across 25 markets within three or four years.

WeWork has also started exploring the partnership structure in order to maintain a connection with its tenants.

“In the last three to four months, we’re pushing [the partnership structure] a lot more,” said Granit Gjonbalaj, WeWork’s chief real-estate development officer.

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