The average retail-based coworking center is about 16,400 square feet — slightly larger than a typical mall tenant, according to JLL.
Nick Clark, who founded Dallas-based Common Desk, has shopping centers on his radar screen for future locations.
“We haven’t got as far yet to go into an actual mall, but we would consider that if the right opportunity presented itself,” Clark said. “The coworking operator is not only filling a vacant space but providing a built-in clientele for the rest of the shopping center.”
Common Desk’s original Deep Ellum location is close to restaurants and retail, and its Fort Worth center is the popular West Seventh District surrounded by retail.
Clark said that a study his firm did found that its locations provide almost $1.4 million a year in spending in the surrounding neighborhood.
“The impact to the shopping mall is an extra thousand people a week coming” to the coworking office, he said. “It’s an interesting solution for a mall owner who has these huge old department stores that are underutilized or have gone out of business.
“And a lot of these retail centers have an excessive amount of parking that are not being utilized during the workday.”
Dallas’ 20-year-old Victory Park development just signed a big lease with New York-based shared office firm WeWork to locate in the plaza retail and office buildings outside American Airlines Center arena.
“I think it’s a great use of space because the retail and food and beverage in the area provides an amenity to those shared office people and the coworking provides a youthful, new type of traffic,” said Terry Montesi, CEO of Trademark Property, which is leasing Victory Park’s retail. “It’s a big boom for our leasing effort.”
Montesi said almost every one of the mixed-use retail projects his company represents has a shared office center or has one in the works.
And don’t be surprised if a shared office center opens in Dallas’ landmark Galleria mall, which Trademark is now leasing and managing.
“I think it makes a ton of sense,” he said. “It adds a cool factor.”