Boston’s coworking boom was on track to totally transform the city’s commercial real estate scene, but that growth has now come to a screeching halt.
While a few companies like Workbar have opened a few locations, many notable operators such as Knotel, Industrious and WeWork have slowed their expansion plans.
“It all just sort of stopped,” said Liz Berthelette, research director at real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank. “In our meetings, no one talks about WeWork anymore. No one even really brings up coworking.”
WeWork in particular has yet to announce a new location since last summer. This time last year, it was launching nearly one new space a month. Reports also claim that four leases fell through last fall.
After WeWork hit the brakes on expansion last fall, Cushman & Wakefield surveyed large companies and found that two-thirds put at least some of their workers in a coworking space.
Many operators have claimed that Boston is one of their focus markets, but have yet to open new locations in recent months.
Additionally, smaller coworking companies like Coalition Space have closed down, but the company’s CEO Spencer Rothschild still has hope about the coworking industry in Boston.
“It’s only going to grow,” said Rothschild, who added that Coalition is looking for new space in Boston. “It’s maybe 6 percent of [total office leasing] now. We think in a decade it’ll be 15 to 30 percent.”