Surge in Co-working space investments
Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) closed on a $58M round of funding from European real estate developer HB Reavis just last week. Founded in 1999 as a start-up incubator, CIC has long been viewed as the grandfather of local co-working space. Despite its name, CIC now has facilities in Boston (135,000 SF at 50 Milk Street) as well as Miami and St. Louis.
Last August, WeWork, raised $3B of Series G funding in a deal lead by Japan’s SoftBank – putting its pre-money valuation at $19.95 billion. In Boston, WeWork now leases 800,000 SF– and continues to grow. At least in Boston, WeWork has begun marketing large blocks of space on the sublease market – they’re even showing up in Costar. And we view these blocks as legitimate, competitive options for our clients.
A few weeks ago, Brooklyn-based Industrious raised $80M of Series C funding – with the intention of doubling its number of sites to 60. Industrious is new the Boston market – having leased 22,000 SF at 22 Boston Wharf Road in the Seaport at the end of 2017. Industrious is now the third largest co-working company in the US – behind WeWork and Regus.
Big Companies in Flexible Spaces
The co-working concept may have been hatched as an incubator for start-ups, but co-working spaces now attract large firms.
WeWork’s 31 St. James location has housed both Amazon and Liberty Mutual – the latter rotates about 50 employees through the space every three months.
When General Electric first arrived in Boston in early 2016, Current, its energy-related arm, took space at WeWork’s 745 Atlantic Avenue location – just across from South Station.
And Massachusetts-based WorkBar was home to Facebook when it moved to the area a few years ago – before relocating to more permanent space.
Greater Boston: Largest Co-Working Players