Co-working firms aren’t happy about CBRE launching competitor company

Brokerage announced launch of Hana this week

A CBRE office space with Shlomo Silber and Amol Sarva (Credit: CBRE)
A CBRE office space with Shlomo Silber and Amol Sarva (Credit: CBRE)

Some co-working companies aren’t happy about CBRE’s new flexible workspace venture.

The brokerage announced on Wednesday that it will start inking property management agreements with landlords to provide flexible office space to large corporate clients. But some of CBRE’s would-be clients aren’t thrilled that the brokerage will now compete in the co-working space, Crain’s reported.

“Going forward, I see no reason to give my business to CBRE,” said Amol Sarva, co-founder and CEO of Knotel. “If they want to open a shingle that competes with me, I can do business with other brokers. They’re not going to represent us.”

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Shlomo Silber, CEO and co-founder of Bond Collective, which hasn’t yet worked with CBRE, said the brokerage’s new co-working subsidiary — Hana — presents a “conflict of interest.”

Brandon Forde, a CBRE executive managing director, said Hana “does not in any way change CBRE’s fiduciary responsibility” to its clients.

No word yet from WeWork, which is Manhattan’s largest office tenant and occupies more than 7 million square feet throughout New York City. In the November issue of The Real Deal, the cover story explored how co-working has reverted back to a traditional commercial property management business model. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel