Not just WeWork: Chicago’s co-working footprint could hit 9M sf

Co-working firms will triple their space in the next 3 years, according to a Newmark Knight Frank report, but first there will be a slowdown

TRD CHICAGO /
Feb.February 26, 2020 02:00 PM
From left: Convene founder Ryan Simonetti, WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani, and Novel founder Bill Bennett (Credit: iStock)

From left: Convene founder Ryan Simonetti, WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani, and Novel founder Bill Bennett (Credit: iStock)

WeWork may have slammed the brakes on new leases following its implosion last year, but overall co-working space in Downtown Chicago is still forecast to nearly triple in the next few years. That echoes a nationwide trend.

A report from Newmark Knight Frank estimates the Chicago co-working space will grow to more than 9 million square feet in 2023, from about 3.2 million square feet last year, Crain’s reported, citing Newmark’s figures. That would account for an estimated 6 percent of all Downtown office leases, up from 2 percent last year, according to the report.

Large co-working firms with at least 500 employees are driving the recent growth, and will continue to do so, Crain’s reported, citing Newmark.

The report showed that WeWork — which now has 14 locations and over 1 million square feet in Chicago — has a 33 percent share of the market co-working market, followed by Novel Coworking’s 10 percent, Convene’s 9 percent and Industrious‘ 6 percent, according to Crain’s.

But there will likely be a near-term slowdown of new co-working space this year and next year, according to the report. Evidently, 2023 will be a very big year.

NFK’s prediction is in line with a recent Morningstar analysis, which predicts co-working in the U.S. will reach 360 million square feet by 2028, nearly four times what it is today. [Crain’s]Brianna Kelly


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