North Carolina HQ Community Plans to Open Co-Working Center in Charleston

Shared Workspace

North Carolina HQ Community is planning to open a shared workspace in downtown Charleston.  The North Carolina based company already has three such locations in Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina, and is part of the latest trend to reform the traditional office space.  In other cities, the company has acquired space near colleges and universities, and has offered both private office suites and open desks for rent. HQ Community is currently looking to acquire real estate and local partners for this venture.

Allyson Sutton, HQ Community director of marketing, told the Post & Courier recently that the company aims to open up its office space by next year. “There’s a ton of really great energy and attention happening here,” she said. “We would hate to miss the boat and not be here at this prime time when all this great stuff is happening.” She said the company’s goal is to become the “largest network of entrepreneurial spaces in the Southeast.”

A recent report by CBRE analyzes the rise in shared workspaces sweeping the country, and what it means for commercial real estate. The report found that:

  • Co-working office space attracts a wide variety of workers. Co-working centers are not just filled with freelancers. It includes larger employers who are looking for flexibility, lower corporate real estate costs, a shorter commute for employees, and new opportunities for sharing innovative ideas in an open workspace.
  • Millennials are not the only age group attracted to shared workspace. The report found that 63 percent of users are between the ages of 31 and 50 years old, and the median age is 40 years old.
  • Co-working spaces are growing by 21 percent a year. The average annual cost for 10 work spaces ranges from $52,000 to $84,000 compared to $72,000 to $92,000 for traditional leased space.
  • Developers are able to adapt and reuse older, outdated office buildings, warehouses and industrial properties. These types of properties are prime locations for redevelopment as co-working centers.
  • Employees are attracted to shared workspace for networking opportunities. The CBRE research found that employees enjoy the networking among colleagues, and the sense of community they enjoy in shared workspaces.

HQ Community hopes that Charleston’s growing tech industry will provide ample opportunities for growth in this real estate market, even as other co-working centers have opened up recently. Other shared work spaces available in Charleston include Holy City Collective on Daniel Island, Launch Pad on Meeting Street, and the Avondale Incubator in West Ashley.

Source: Post & Courier, “Chain to Provide Spot for Entrepreneurs to Work,” by Thad Moore, June 3, 2016

Source: CBRE, United States, “U.S. Shared Workspaces, Part I,” January 2016

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