Coworking company, realty firm lease space in Pasadena’s Playhouse Plaza building – Pasadena Star News

Coworking company Spaces and the tech-fueled real estate firm Compass have signed leases totaling more than 71,000 square feet at Pasadena’s Playhouse Plaza office building.

Spaces signed a 130-month lease agreement for 48,831 square feet. That includes 9,427 square feet on the ground floor and 39,359 square feet on the second floor. Compass expanded its existing 12,047-square-foot lease to include the entire fourth floor, which adds another 22,242 square feet.

With those leases in place, the five-story building at 680 E. Colorado. Blvd. is now 97 percent occupied with only 5,295 square feet of remaining available space on a portion of the third floor.

Located in the heart of the Playhouse District on the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and El Molino Avenue, Playhouse Plaza was built in 2015 and is the city’s newest office building.

Todd Doney and Ryan Pettersen of CBRE represented the landlord, BIT Playhouse Plaza. Doney said the building’s mixed-use design and access to surrounding amenities make it a prime spot for doing business.

Spaces expands its Southern California footprint

This marks Spaces’ ninth lease in the area, bringing the company’s total footprint in the region to 323,000 square feet, including space in such markets as Hollywood, Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles.

Other Spaces coworking properties can be found in Irvine, Culver City, Calabasas, San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta, New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas and Nashville, among other cities.

Spaces is one of several large coworking companies that include such players as WeWork, Impact Hub, Alley, Techspace and Greendesk. Blankspaces Pasadena, another coworking business, also operates on the first floor of Playhouse Plaza.

People who use coworking space typically share equipment, ideas and knowledge. Spaces’ flexible coworking areas are designed to handle everything from off-site meetings and brainstorming sessions, to seminars, crunch-time deadlines and day-to-day activities.

A “corporate commune”

Michael Fisher, who produces YouTube technology videos, spent a week at a Spaces coworking facility in Boston where he met software developers, advertising employees, attorneys, direct-mail workers — and even an artist.

Fisher described the place as a kind of corporate commune, but “way cooler than it sounds.” Coworking space, he said, offers a welcome alternative for entrepreneurs who work out of their homes.

“Some folks need a place with more human contact — or a conference room that’s not also their kitchen,” he said. “Others just need more space.”

A fast-growing industry

Coworking Resources, which tracks the industry, estimates that more than 1,000 coworking spaces opened up worldwide in the second half of 2018, with more than half coming online in the U.S.

More robust growth is expected, with more than 5,000 U.S. openings this year, 5,476 next year, 5,943 the following year and 6,219 in 2022, the company said.

Compass — powered by technology

Compass co-founder and CEO Robert Reffkin said his company is unlike other real estate businesses. In a 2017 interview with Bloomberg, he explained what sets Compass apart:

“Compass is a technology company,” he said. “We have a team of in-house engineers from places like Facebook, Google and Twitter who are building an end-to-end platform for agents to manage and grow their business — all in one place.”

The company functions differently than Redfin and Zillow, according to Reffkin.

“Aggregators are focused on the search, but we’re focused on the entire transaction — building workflow and productivity tools for agents to help clients tour properties, negotiate and ultimately close,” he said.

Reffkin also noted that traditional real estate brokerages don’t have an engineer to build tools.

“We’re building tools all on one platform and one system,” he said. “We want to be everywhere … in every major market in this country, and ultimately, the world.”

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