Coworking spaces continue to show strong growth in the Baltimore region, according to a recent report.
In the last year co-working two firms Spaces and WeWorks rented 131,000 square feet of office space, according to a data review by CBRE, with these type of firms leasing 367,000 square feet of space in the Baltimore region at the end of 2018’s third quarter. Coworking spaces now take up 1.6 percent of the city’s occupied office space.
“The expansion of the coworking sector correlates closely with the growth in venture capital investment. In 2018, Baltimore was ranked as the fifth top rising city for startups by Forbes, with $1 billion in three-year venture capital investment,” according to the report.
These co-working spaces are primarily clustered in Baltimore. About 80 percent of their inventory is located in the city. While the drivers in the market have primarily been enterprises like Spark and Betamore, which the report classifies as small to mid-size providers, bigger firms are moving into the market.
Those top deals include WeWork, which signed a deal this summer for 60,000 square feet of space at the 330,000-square-foot Wills Wharf at Harbor Point. JLL represented the tenant and landlord in that deal. Spaces, which was also represented by JLL, leased 32,000 square feet at 145 W. Ostend St. at Stadium Square last November.
Some brokers and researchers have urged more landlords in downtown Baltimore to embrace coworking spaces. They argue these enterprises provide the best chance to backfill space, particularly north of Lombard Street, that has sat vacant for years.
Coworking spaces in the city, such as the Cordish Cos. backed Spark have sped up their timeline for expansions because of demand for their offerings. Even tiny startups like Red Wagon Baltimore, started with a mix of its co-founder’s personal funds, sweat equity and a $500 investment from Moms as Entrepreneurs, have entered the market.