Houston-based Rice University’s real estate arm has signed a deal with Common Desk as demand for flexible offices continues to grow across Texas.
Common Desk, which is owned by WeWork, will expand its presence at technology hub the Ion, bringing its total square footage to 86,400 in a 10-year deal.
Demand for coworking has yet to find a level playing field, with WeWork itself recently shuttering 40 low-performing locations across the U.S. However, the company also reported an increase in memberships and narrowing losses.
“The headwinds in the office sector are really benefiting the flex model. We see rollover of rents coming of the larger tenants. They’re shifting to consolidate into tighter spaces and moving to flex, so we’re actually seeing an advantage,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of WeWork, in a Nov earnings call.
Operators are testing new approaches to ensure that coworking is viewed as a dependable workspace option for companies, with many signing partnership agreements with landlords that allows them to split profits, as is the case with Rice Management.
Research indicates that demand is strong, too. A recent report from CBRE showed that over half of corporate executives have plans to adopt flexible offices in the future.
The Ion location suggests growth is on the horizon for the Texas coworking market, with Common Desk’s Head of Real Estate Dawson Williams saying that there is a 80-company waiting list for the location’s private suites.