A shot of Mission 50's
shared office space.

HOBOKEN-In Downtown Manhattan alone, it was estimated that 10 million and 15 million square feet of space were, well, ruined thanks to Hurricane Sandy. At least, that’s what the New York Post most recently reported. So what are these companies going to do now?  There’s only so much working from  home one can do; lack of access to servers, phone and printer facilities and other amenities can make some jobs difficult.  

In the interim, it looks like displaced companies have to look for more temporary solutions, especially as right now, no one really knows how long power will be out or buildings will be uninhabitable. So a new leasing trend may lean towards the less certain, the more fluid which will put a different kind of control in the hands of the tenants.  For instance, Globest.com recently reported on Sentry Centers’ expansion to Old Slip, which offers flexible meeting space options for companies – many of whom could likely be looking to such services until their buildings are back up to speed.

Additionally, Quest offers services that might be better for those stranded long-term, and who find they need a more solid, fully-functional home base. “Quest offers flexible terms starting at one week term, instead of one month,” explained Laura Kozelouzek, CEO of Quest. To give a bit of color, she went on to cite Foursquare’s use of the spaces at the company’s midtown location, “Almost 50 Foursquare staffers were able to move into temporary offices at Quest literally overnight,” she added.

“We were able to immediately provide private offices and open workstations with administrative staff, phone, internet and complimentary cafes so clients can resume their daily operations until they can return to their permanent offices.”

Across the river in Hoboken, Mission 50 a shared office space provider, found that using social media and a bit of determination was a good way to spread the word about its open, flexibly-leased space. Owner Greg Dell’Aquila, himself directly affected by the storm, decided he had to do something. The Hoboken resident experienced flooding, and when he could get back out of the house he “went on a mad dash for a generator,” as he described. “I sat on gas line…all in the effort to not only open Mission 50 for the existing population to then try and put it out there to Hoboken and beyond.”

And like many during this time – even the Hudson County Clerk’s Office – Dell’Aquila utilized social media to spread the word about his open space, which can be used daily, weekly or monthly depending on tenant needs.

“I know the value of social media…I’ve been using it and people have been responding to it,” he added, “I took the lead from the City [of Hoboken] – it was communicating with its population through Twitter and Facebook.”

Dell’Aquila has been hosting displaced offices in both Hoboken and from Manhattan, although was not at liberty to disclose the companies at press time. He has also seen remote workers and individuals who work from home come in because their houses  have been, simply put, destroyed, and they need to get to work.

“I knew the severity of what was happening,” he explained. “I provide shared office space, this is what I do…That was my thought process. If I can’t provide temp office space in a time when people need it…” He trailed off. “This is what I do and this is what I have to do.”