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In 2019, Philly’s gained the most ‘flexible’ work space yet

Coworking spaces are on the rise in the city, especially in areas around West Market Street, a new CBRE report says.

Inside WeWork's 30,000-square-foot space in Northern Liberties. (Photo by Max Hoagland)

This year, Philadelphia’s “flexible space” inventory has reached 1.1 million square feet — the most it’s ever had, according to a report by CBRE.

The city reached this amount of flex space (aka coworking or shared office space) by the end of Q2, and is up 308,000 square feet, or about 38% from the year before. The amount of coworking space in Philadelphia has jumped up in the last five years, with about 233,000 square feet dedicated to it in 2014.

Flex space currently accounts for 1% of Philly’s total office inventory, but comes in below the national average of 1.8%. CBRE found that much of the city’s coworking space is concentrated in the West Market Street area, in areas like Rittenhouse and University City.

The leading coworking management companies, in terms of square footage, are WeWork with 193,000 square feet in Philadelphia, the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) with 127,000 square feet and 1776, with 119,000 square feet.

At the end of last year, we took a look at what spaces were available throughout the city, and saw that there were options that varied between neighborhoods, size and price range. By this summer, the city had 43 flex office spaces, being managed by 22 operators.

CBRE cites a change in expectations of a workplace as one of the driving forces behind the growth of flex spaces nationally, the report said.

“Fueling that growth is demand from small businesses and enterprise users alike that favor the flexibility of office accommodations on relatively short-term leases, allowing them to expand or contract their space according to the needs of their business,” it said.

Read the full report
Companies: WeWork / 76 Forward

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