Large Firms Find Shared Office Space Can Fit Needs

By Andrew Khouri

Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Co-working offices are no longer for that solopreneur looking to escape the local coffee shop. Many larger companies are beginning to see the advantages of co-working, specifically the cost and flexibility. For women in business like Elizabeth Brennan, a VP at “FactSet”, a financial software company, co-working allows them to enter a market without making a big financial commitment in an area that’s often unfamiliar. She also adds, employees get a “hip, cool” place to work.

LOS ANGELES

When co-working firm Cross Campus opens an office in downtown Los Angeles in May, its tenants will include the typical startups looking for collaborative work environments, shared coffee bars and the flexibility of a short-term lease.

But the 33,000-square-foot location also will house businesses of a less typical variety, including real estate developers, legal firms and FactSet Research Systems Inc., a publicly traded financial data company out of Connecticut with more than 8,000 employees worldwide.

Long the domain of tech startups and individual workers, large companies such as FactSet, Delta Air Lines and home builder Lennar Corp. are now leasing co-working offices. And many are looking to do so for the same reason startups find the concept attractive: a hip environment and the lack of commitment a short-term lease offers.

“The corporate world is starting to look at this,” said Ronen Olshansky, chief executive of Cross Campus, a co-working company based outside Los Angeles. “They value the flexibility.”

The growing demand has helped companies like Cross Campus expand across Los Angeles and the nation, filling vacancies and lifting rents for all players in the commercial real estate market.

The companies offer tenants a private, often glass-walled office on a floor with other firms that share amenities such as pool tables, coffee bars and meditation rooms. They also might host events such as Bloody Mary brunches and speeches from business leaders.

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