“We’re not in the business of land-grabbing:” Hana CEO on the future of flex space

CBRE's flex-space execs on putting skin in the game with landlords and combating the fear of shared offices

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 29, 2020 07:00 AM

Hypergrowth has been the mantra of flex-office-space players for years. WeWork became the largest private tenant in New York City by signing leases at an astonishing rate, and venture-backed rivals from Knotel to Industrious were similarly ravenous.

But when you’re a flex-space player bankrolled by the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, you approach growth quite differently.

“We’re not in the business of land-grabbing,” Andrew Kupiec, CEO of Hana, said in a conversation with The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani, discussing how his nascent firm is not designed for an “exit.”

“We’re underwriting this business in perpetuity,” Kupiec added. “We have a different endgame, and our endgame is to be additive to the core business [of CBRE]. It’s more about the long-term stickiness of the business.”

Kupiec and Samtani were joined by Georgia Collins, Hana’s EVP of occupier solutions, to discuss all aspects of the flex-space business, from how to overcome the newfound fear of shared spaces, to how Hana structures deals so it has skin in the game alongside landlords, to what the office building of the future could look like in major markets such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Collins spoke about the power of the flex model for large companies, particularly those that have partially embraced the idea of a distributed workforce.

“The idea that enterprises could actually always stay within a building and that their needs could be met in some form or another, is really attractive,” she said.


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