Report: Boston Now Boasts Fourth Largest Coworking Market in US
When shared workspaces started popping up in major cities nearly a decade ago, many scoffed and assumed that the office sharing trend would be merely a flash in the pan. Fast-forward to late 2019, however, and it’s plain to see that providers like WeWork and Industrious are here to stay. In fact, coworking space has become practically ubiquitous around Boston. In a recent report, the city now ranks fourth in the nation for the amount of coworking office space that is available. As always, Boston City Properties is here to bring you the latest regarding this phenomenon.
A recent report took a look at the period between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019. In the city of Boston, more than 847,000 square feet of coworking space was added to the market, representing an increase of 0.4 percent. Today, coworking space accounts for 1.7 percent of office real estate in Boston. In 2000, it languished at right around zero; by 2017, the figure had jumped to 1.2 percent. To say that coworking space isn’t a major player in commercial real estate in the city would be highly inaccurate.
How does Boston stack up to other major cities in terms of coworking space? One thing’s for sure: Boston is far from alone in its fondness and support for shared workspaces like those that are provided by WeWork. Indeed, Manhattan leads the pack with around 15 million square feet of coworking space, which equals about 3.6 percent of its office real estate market. Los Angeles boasts around 5.4 million square feet of such space, and Chicago offers more than 3.8 million square feet of it. With the national average for coworking space hovering right around 1.8 percent – and Boston’s equaling around 1.7 percent – the city is quickly inching up on and sure to surpass the nationwide average in no time.
Coworking space in the city of Boston is dominated by a handful of key players – and most of them have been expanding aggressively over the last few years. Over the past 12 months, for example, WeWork increased its presence in the city by 90 percent, adding more than 1.5 million square feet of flexible coworking space. This expansion included the addition of 250,000 square feet at the State Street tower at One Lincoln Street, which added around 4,000 desks; 117,000 square feet at 100 Summer Street, which added around 2,300 desks; and all 29,000 square feet of available space at One Milk Street, which added another 440 desks.
Manhattan-based Industrious has also been busily adding coworking space to the city of Boston. Over the last year, its share of the flexible coworking market increased by an incredible 76 percent for a total of 112,000 square feet. The vast majority of the firm’s space is located in Back Bay, but it would not be surprising to see the company expand beyond that neighborhood before very long.
What does all of this mean for the city of Boston? In particular, it suggests that the city’s tech and science industries are thriving – and that they should continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It also suggests that many startups and small businesses, fearing another recession, view coworking space as a safer, more flexible option. If you are a business looking for office space anywhere in the city of Boston or elsewhere across Massachusetts, Boston City Properties is here to help. Sign up now for free, immediate access to our searchable MA real estate listings to zero in on coworking space and other types of space in no time.