Bond Collective locked out of Flatiron location by city marshal 

Landlord claims coworking firm owes nearly $3M in rent

Bond Collective's Shlomo Silber, 115 East 23rd Street (Bond Collective, Getty, Loopnet)
Bond Collective's Shlomo Silber, 115 East 23rd Street (Bond Collective, Getty, Loopnet)

Members at coworking firm Bond Collective’s Flatiron District location showed up to work Thursday to find themselves locked out by a city marshal.

A notice posted by the marshal’s office stated that the landlord at 115 East 23rd Street had retaken possession of the space, and members scrambled to try and get their belongings. 

Court records show that a state judge ordered the lockout after the landlord, First Pioneer Realty, sued Bond Collective last February, claiming the coworking firm had not paid its rent. Bond Collective owed $2.8 million on the space as of November, according to court documents.

Bond Collective co-founder Shlomo Silber told The Real Deal that the location, where space rented for upwards of $300 a month, failed to recover from the financial hit it took during the pandemic.

“There wasn’t a lot of revenue coming in from people not coming into work,” he said, adding that some locations were still struggling while others have bounced back. “Nobody in this industry is without challenges.” 

Court records show that Bond Collective had asked its landlord for more time to help its members get out in an orderly fashion, but Silber said the two sides weren’t able to come to an agreement. A representative for First Pioneer did not respond to a request for comment.

“I feel really bad about the process,” he said. “The actual closure of the space didn’t happen as planned.” 

Silber said he was working with members to move them to other Bond Collective locations in the city, and in some instances tried to help them cut deals with some of his competitors.

Bond Collective signed the lease on the 23rd Street location in 2013 and it was set to run through 2025. It’s not the only location the company has struggled with.

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In Gowanus, landlord Samson Management sued Bond Collective last March, claiming the company owed $4 million in back rent on its space at 68-80 Third Street. In May, the judge in that case issued Bond Collective an order to vacate the space.

In the Financial District, Harbor Group International also sued Bond Collective in March, saying it owed $3.6 million. The two sides settled in December.

Bond Collective has other spaces in Greenpoint, Gowanus, Buwshick and a new location coming in Vinegar Hill, according to its website.

Silber co-founded Bond Collective in 2013 with company president Elie Deitsch. The two secured a $50 million investment from an unidentified New York real estate family to fund an expansion to other cities in 2017, a time when coworking firms were expanding rapidly.

But the industry has since experienced turmoil  — most notably with WeWork’s failed IPO fiasco in 2019 — and a number of firms have shut down.

The all-female startup The Wing shuttered its six U.S. locations in August, citing an inability to recover from the pandemic and “increasing global economic challenges.” Amol Sarva’s Knotel went bankrupt in 2021 and was acquired by Newmark — one of several coworking firms that were either acquired by or partnered with large commercial real estate service firms.

WeWork in November reported a loss of nearly $630 million and announced plans to close 40 locations as the company once again pushed back its timeline for achieving profitability.

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