New coworking list shows sector’s rapid growth

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This is the first time we’ve ever produced a list of local coworking spaces. And there’s a good reason for that.

Seven of the spaces on the list didn’t exist a year ago.

The list would look mighty thin without them: The full digital version includes 19 coworking spaces — spaces that allow entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote employees from different companies to work side-by-side.

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That goes up to 25 spaces if you count all seven facilities included in the entry for Cube Cleveland, No. 15 on the list, which is ranked by square footage. (The Solon-based company didn’t submit forms for every facility, but it noted that they are similar.)

OK, two of the spaces on the list don’t technically exist just yet. Cube plans to open a space in downtown Cleveland in November. Meanwhile, LaunchHouse is helping the Oberlin Business Partnership create CoWork Oberlin at 235 Artino St. That coworking space, No. 9 on the list, is slated to open in October 2018.

And other spaces are in the works, though they weren’t sufficiently far along to provide details for this list. For instance, both the Bounce Innovation Hub in Akron and the Youngstown Business Incubator have plans to create coworking spaces in the near future, too.

So what’s up with all these new coworking spaces?

They’ve mushroomed in number throughout the United States over the last several years: The coworking and flexible office space sector has grown by an average annual rate of 23% since 2010, according to a report by real estate services firm JLL. Crain’s wrote stories about how that trend has played out in Northeast Ohio in 2015 and again in July of this year.

JLL’s definition is broader than just coworking, however, since it also includes incubators and spaces that only offer small private offices. But many of the coworking spaces on our list serve those functions as well.

Consider the largest facility, StartMart. The 35,000-square-foot facility at Terminal Tower also houses the Flashstarts business accelerator and 25 private offices.

Four of the spaces on the list are operated under the Regus brand by Switzerland-based IWG. If the list was ranked by number of coworking desks or private offices, those facilities would take the top four spots.

The print version of the list includes some unusual amenities. For instance, Cowork Mansfield has loading docks, and Limelight in Cleveland offers notary services.

But almost all of them offer 24-hour access, conference rooms, free WiFi and a printer, according to the full digital list, which includes a more detailed description of amenities.



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