WeWork recently opened a 130,000 square foot workspace in downtown Charlotte, the company’s largest location in the Southeastern U.S. This move is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the coworking industry breaking into secondary markets.
A CBRE analysis that covered 30 markets found that half have more than 1 million square feet in flexible office inventory and that many markets have “not even scratched the surface of this sector, including high office-using employment growth markets like Nashville, Austin and Charlotte.”
Now, as more larger corporations seek flexible terms, coworking firms are moving into secondary cities in anticipation that such companies will pursue more coworking space.
Many of these coworking operators are opening up shop in the central business districts of these secondary cities.
Newmark Knight Frank has predicted that coworking will grow toward the 20% benchmark over the next few years one way or another. Most scenarios points to coworking spreading into secondary and tertiary cities.
“They have all the major players there that we would typically find in a New York or San Francisco,” said Julie Whelan, head of occupier research for the Americas at CBRE, referring to Nashville. “To me, that really says a lot about how operators are looking at that particular market in terms of current growth and the ability to proceed there.”