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Convene Plans to Add More than 1 Million SF in New Space by Late 2019

Shared Workspace Provider Selects Chicago and London for Next Locations
July 12, 2018
Shared workspace provider Convene is offering more office space for businesses.

Shared workspace provider Convene plans to more than triple its current footprint over the next two years, adding more than 1 million square feet in new space.

The New York-based company, known for its emphasis on landlord partnerships, operates 19 locations for a total of 560,000 square feet. By the end of 2018 it expects to have 23 locations spanning 700,000 square feet, and it plans to have 1.7 million square feet in 10 cities a year later, Chief Executive Ryan Simonetti and Chief Innovation Officer Chris Kelly told CoStar.

Aside from Chicago and London, Convene will seek to add three to four new markets and keep expanding where it's already established: Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The moves reflect the rising demand for shared workspaces as companies such as WeWork expand across the country. Convene just completed $152 million in funding as part of a Series D round led by asset manager ArrowMark Partners, raising $260 million since its initial round in 2009. Convene's backers include Declaration Capital, QuadReal Property Group, Revolution Growth, RXR Realty, Brookfield, CVC2, The Durst Organization and Elysium Management.

Convene plans to open a sixth location, in Chicago, by 2019 and it's hiring a team in London to work alongside landlord partners to scout a seventh site. The London location should open between late 2019 and early 2020, Simonetti and Kelly said.

According to CoStar data, Convene leases about 405,000 square feet in Manhattan within 10 buildings. Its largest space is downtown at 1 Liberty Plaza, a Brookfield building. Convene signed a lease there in January for almost 90,600 square feet.

Playing a mixed role of both concierge and property manager, Convene has carved a niche among larger enterprise Fortune 500 companies. It has done so through its model of providing customized flexible workspaces and offering on-demand conference rooms, meeting and event spaces, with or without catering. Convene’s model also differs from other coworking firms in that it targets Class-A office properties.

"Companies in today’s economy need to be flexible and that will be a driving theme," said Simonetti. "When a company desires agility and flexibility, the idea of signing a 10-15 year lease doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore."

The average size of a Convene space has been climbing, with locations now ranging in size from 35,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet, according to the company.

Businesses seeking office space are "recognizing the need for our category of service," centered around flexible workspaces, concierge services and high-end design, said Kelly.

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