According to new analysis from CBRE, Denver’s coworking space inventory has fallen by 8.7% since before the pandemic, bringing the city’s inventory to 2.6 million square feet.
This decrease is being reflected across the rest of the country, with the entire country cutting 9% of coworking inventory since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. At the moment, total inventory sits at just over 80 million square feet.
The mass shift to working from home during the onset of the pandemic caused coworking operators to take a big hit. Just before the world shut down, coworking spaces were places of high density and open layouts known for their close quarters. Even once some restrictions were lifted, many of these spaces had to adapt to physical distancing and sanitation guidelines that would allow members to feel safe.
In Denver, among one of the first coworking locations to close was women-only space Charley Co. The firm took up almost 6,000 square feet and had been open for less than a year when the pandemic hit, highlighting the impact the health crisis had on new providers.
Even the world’s largest operators were hindered, with WeWork closing four of its Denver locations in 2021 after the firm’s infamous failed IPO in 2019.
Although Denver’s coworking footprint has scaled down, it still has the seventh-highest percentage of coworking space in the US.
“Flexible office space can play a valuable role in a company’s real estate portfolio,” said Katie Kruger, Senior Managing Director and Colorado Market Leader at CBRE. “It provides a nimble way to expand and contract, which is never more important than now as companies implement hybrid work strategies and assess how their employees will use the office moving forward.”
With this, CBRE anticipates that the coworking industry will see significant growth in both occupancy and square footage throughout the year due to companies pivoting their return-to-work strategies.