Remote and hybrid models are here to stay, and WeWork is eager to take advantage of this new reality of the workplace.
This week, the coworking operator announced its first residential developer partnership with Cedar Street. Through the deal, WeWork will take up 25,000 square feet of space in Chicago’s 12-story Bridgeview Bank building. Simultaneously, Cedar Street will be redeveloping part of the building to incorporate 176 apartments.
“As many workers desire the in-person collaboration and connection that the office affords, they also want the option of an office environment closer to home, resulting in increased demand for flex space outside of downtown,” said Melinda Holland, chief operating officer at WeWork.
By bringing flexible workplace solutions to residential areas within cities, WeWork is bridging this divide that is causing professionals to be hesitant about living and commuting into city centers.
“The most important piece of this equation seems to be commute times,” said Julie Whelan, global head of occupier research at CBRE. “People with long commute times desire to have flexibility in their workweek and these third spaces afford them that.”
This comes as WeWork reports a sharp uptick in flexible office demand in Chicago. In fact, the company reported that its All Access bookings grew 147% from January to July of this year.