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Serendipity Labs Opens Downtown Location

Why Coworking Companies are Flocking to DTLA
June 6, 2018
For Serendipity Labs Coworking, Hollywood is not enough.

The Rye, NY-based coworking company is planning to open a second location in Los Angeles this fall after opening its first one this March in Hollywood.

Serendipity Labs will take up the entire 18th floor at CIM Group’s City National 2Cal office building located at 350 S. Grand Ave., in the Bunker Hill neighborhood of Los Angeles' Greater Downtown submarket, at the northwest corner of 4th Street.

The coworking company will have a total of 23,000 square feet at the building, including the first plaza area, where there are double-height windows. The new location is scheduled to open in November.

"That combination we think is incredibly attractive," John Arenas, chairman and chief executive of Serendipity Labs, said.

The 52-story, 1.33 million-square-foot, 5-Star office building was built in 1992 on 3.8 acres within the California Plaza business park.

Christopher Penrose Jr., first vice president at CBRE, said many coworking companies are attracted to downtown.

"I think access to public transportation is a big key to that," Penrose said, noting the public transportation from downtown that is in the works. "I think they see that the new regional connector opening in 2020 will have a Bunker Hill stop, and people will be able to get there easily," Penrose said.

Greater downtown Los Angeles is "the king of coworking," according to an April report titled "Coworking on the Rise in Suburban South Bay/Los Angeles," by Tom Sheets, executive director of the South Bay for Cushman & Wakefield, and Vincent Chang, local market research analyst for Cushman.

Downtown Los Angeles leads the region in total office space occupied or planned for occupancy by coworking companies, with a total of more than 500,000 square feet, according to the report. Hollywood comes in second with more than 289,000 square feet, according to the report, which ranks El Segundo and the beach cities as third.

There had been negotiations for a deal for Serendipity Labs to open a location at the Bloc, "but, unfortunately, the deal fell through," according to Penrose. The Bloc has a pedestrian passageway at the 7th Street / Metro Center Station. Other coworking companies have also opened locations around the 7th Street stop, including WeWork, Industrious and Cross Campus.

Serendipity Labs is also eyeing El Segundo for a future location as well as Santa Monica and Century City, according to Arenas, whose company plans to have a total of 10 locations in Los Angeles, adding that what the firm looks at "is the migration of demand."

Memberships at Serendipity Labs' new downtown L.A. location are around $200 to $300 per month for drop-ins, $1,000 per month for offices, and team rooms begin at $800 a month per person, according to Arenas. There is also a $49 "Coworking-1" option available for one day per month, which offers all membership privileges including the ability to book an office, meeting room or event space at any of the Serendipity Labs locations nationwide.

Serendipity Labs previously worked with CIM Group in Nashville, TN, leasing 15,000 square feet at CIM’s L&C Tower downtown, which Arenas described as an "exciting place to be."

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"The economy is so vibrant and growing," Arenas said.

Having outposts in secondary markets like Nashville, and eventually in Columbus, OH and Orlando, FL will come in handy for corporate clients who can use the other locations when they travel, according to Arenas.

In addition to downtown Nashville, coworking companies have also been attracted to East Nashville with a total of nearly 250,000 square feet of coworking space opening in the city last year, according to Elinor Avant, market analyst with CoStar Market Analytics. WeWork accounts for 40 percent of that space.

Karen Jordan, Los Angeles Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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