Novel Coworking is gearing up to open their first location in the Bay Area within a newly refurbished six-story San Jose building.
The space boasts a beer tap in the common space, LED-lights and an Amazon Echo that turns the office into a “smart suite.” Now, the company hopes to lease space in the tower just next door to the new location to help meet its goal of increasing its overall footprint by over 25% next year.
Novel differs from others coworking companies as it owns the buildings it operates out of, rather than taking out leases. Each of its locations averages around 80,000 square feet of space. In comparison, WeWork’s spaces average around 40,000 square feet, while IWG averages 17,600 square feet.
Despite uncertainty about coworking due to a mismatch in obligations between coworking tenants and coworking companies, it seems that Novel is all in on their model.
Bill Bennett, CEO of Novel, is adamant that his company is more durable and sustainable as it purchases buildings with partners. This allows them to charge customers about 30% less than their competitors since it has cut out the middle man.
Novel also attracts a different type of customer base than those in the tech industry — its clients mostly consist of service workers and firms.
“If you’re a financial planner, and a client wants to see you… they can’t be coming in and having glass partitions with a bunch of 25-year-old tech people looking at your assets and your retirement plan on the screen,” said Tom Smith, cofounder of online commercial real estate marketplace Truss.