Co-working pioneer Work Better shutters Bryant Park location

More spaces are closing amid heightened competition
By Konrad Putzier | May 03, 2017 08:00AM

Co-working company Work Better is shuttering its Bryant Park location, as the young industry grapples with fierce competition and a weakening office market.

The Manhattan-based firm is closing its 21,000-square-foot space at 1440 Broadway after 10 years in operation. The company’s co-founder Harsh Mehta would not elaborate on the move, other than saying it was a “business decision.”

The company continues to operate its four other Manhattan locations and its space in Chicago’s Willis Tower, Mehta said.

Mehta launched Work Better’s predecessor OfficeLinks, an office suite company somewhat similar to Regus, in 2003. In 2015, the company changed its name to Work Better as it pivoted to the co-working and virtual office business.

Work Better’s 1440 Broadway is the latest in a string of co-working space closures. In October, Sunshine Suites, one of the city’s oldest co-working companies founded in 2001, shuttered its last location, an office space at 419 Lafayette Street. In January, VaynerMedia sued co-working company LedianSpace over unpaid rent at a 373 Park Avenue South sublet. And in February another startup, Grind, closed its 1412 Broadway location after the landlord opened its own competing co-working space.

As of June 2016, there were 180 co-working spaces in Manhattan, according to Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, and some neighborhoods such as NoMad have several on a single block. This competition has made it harder for some co-working firms to stay profitable. WeWork, the city’s largest co-working company, has recently started expanding its business into residential space and servicing corporate headquarters.

Still, Mehta said he thinks the industry has room to grow in the long term. “We are running quite full in all of our spaces,” he claimed.