Whether it’s called a hacker space, a community lab or an arts-production office park, Brooklyn’s co-working spaces already cover more than 1 million square feet, and the borough’s got another 500,000-plus square feet in the pipeline.
Stretching from Sunset Park to Greenpoint, there are more than 50 co-working spaces in Kings County, according to data from the economic consulting firm Appleseed, which compiled the info for a recent Rudin Center for Transportation report on Downtown Brooklyn.
While co-working giant WeWork may seem like an unconventional alternative to staid corporate-suite provider Regus, some of Brooklyn’s shared spaces really embody the borough’s brand.
They include The Workaround, a Williamsburg outpost for parents that combines co-working and childcare. There’s Ditmas Workspace, which operates out of a Victorian house in the namesake neighborhood.
And there’s Brooklyn Research, a co-working space for new-technology firms that operates out of the former Pfizer Factory on the border of South Williamsburg. Acumen Capital Partners bought the property for $26 million in 2011 and repositioned it as a creative-working hub.
The Brooklyn market is “a mix of spaces that are conducive to not just tech companies and small businesses, but also artisans,” said Michael Bushkanets, a broker with Town Commercial. “There are co-working spaces that are kind of like artist incubators. There ones where the space is kind of half office/tech and half industrial where they make goods.”
Bushkanets has shown prospective co-working tenants a 65,000-square-foot warehouse he’s marketing at 529 3rd Avenue in Gowanus, the neighborhood where Manhattan-based Cowork|rs recently opened its third location.
“Brooklyn’s got diverse types of uses,” he said. “They aren’t all WeWorks.”
All told, the borough has another 566,000 square feet in the pipeline. That includes WeWork’s planned 220,000-square-foot location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is being developed by Rudin Management and Boston Properties.
WeWork alone had 1.8 million square feet across the city as of last summer, when The Real Deal compiled a ranking of the city’s largest shared-office providers.
In Manhattan, they’re particularly concentrated in areas like the Flatiron District, where there are 26 co-working locations surrounding Madison Square Park.