Nicole LaRusso

NEW YORK CITY—“Third-party-provided flex space is not a phenomenon constrained to startups,” says Nicole LaRusso, director of research and analysis at CBRE. “In our survey 75% of the corporate tenants interviewed said they expect to do some amount of co-working or flex space in the next three years.”

Documenting a 600% increase of co-working since 2009, the CBRE study recorded occupancy of 9.2 million square feet of Manhattan office space by third-party flex space operators. Although the flex space leasing amounts to 2.5% of the total Manhattan office occupancy, LaRusso says the small percentage reflects the vast amount of the borough's total office space. In 2016 there were 450 million square feet of office space in Manhattan's main business districts: Midtown, Midtown South and Downtown, according to New York State Comptroller data published in 2017.

LaRusso emphasizes the growth rate of this sector since 2013 has been 22% each year, noting more than 900,000 square feet of flexible space was leased in Q1 2018, alone. The study says at this rate, flexible space providers will capture a 4% share of Manhattan's occupied office space by the end of 2020, hitting 15 million square feet.

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Betsy Kim

Betsy Kim was the bureau chief, East Coast, and New York City reporter for Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. As a lawyer and journalist, Betsy has worked as the director of editorial and content for LexisNexis Lawyers.com, a TV/multi-media journalist for NBC and CBS affiliated TV stations in the Midwest, and an associate producer at Court TV.