Coworking spaces and malls may not have the same ring to it as peas and carrots, but commercial real estate executives agree that they make a great pair.
As workers begin to return to the office, the idea of the workplace has been completely redefined. That’s why many coworking operators have shifted part of their strategy to partner with retail and mall owners to open workspaces within their spaces.
In 2018, JLL’s examination of 75 coworking spaces across one million square feet found that 21.3% were located in department stores.
“When the pandemic hit, I questioned how much longer we’d be able to use this report since the past year and a half has upended how and where we want to work,” said Taylor Coyne, Senior Manager of U.S. Retail Research at JLL. “My outlook on coworking has already boomeranged and I think there remains a strong case for coworking in retail space as flexibility remains central to how we want to work.”
However, it’s clear that retail and coworking in suburban and residential areas could become the ideal solution for a reimagined workforce.
In fact, several partnerships have already emerged, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and WeWork’s new endeavor called SaksWorks, which opens workspaces across different Saks locations. Next month, five new SaksWorks locations will open in New York, with Saks revealing that it will expand its footprint to other cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Seattle.