Coworking’s big players are now open in uptown Charlotte

Industrious co-working office in Minneapolis
Industrious co-working office in Minneapolis

National coworking companies Industrious and WeWork are open in uptown, adding a new group of operators to a fast-growing segment of the office market that’s so far mostly been dominated by local companies.

Both companies have leased space in prominent uptown office towers: Industrious has a full floor (21,416 square feet) in the Bank of America Plaza at Trade and Tryon Streets, while WeWork has two floors (46,000 square feet) at 615 South College, the new office tower adjacent to the Westin Hotel and Stonewall Station.

Industrious opened in August, while WeWork held a ribbon-cutting and grand opening Thursday night.

Local companies such as Hygge and Advent have operated most of the coworking space in Charlotte’s market up until now. While it’s still a small slice of the overall market, coworking is growing rapidly in popularity. Coterie, a female-focused coworking company, shut down its Charlotte space earlier this year.

At Thursday’s WeWork ribbon cutting: John Ball of Trinity Partners, Audrey Rowe of the Charlotte Chamber, Ryan Shell of The Home T, and Adam Wacenske of WeWork Courtesy WeWork

The appeal is mainly to entrepreneurs and small businesses, which can use flexible space as an alternative to either leasing a traditional office or just working (and meeting clients) at home or a coffee shop. For a monthly fee, generally somewhere between $100 and $200, members can come to a co-working site anytime, grab a desk, use the Wi-Fi, print documents, meet with clients and grab a cup of coffee.

They also offer the option of a reserved desk or private offices, for several hundred more dollars a month, and host social events and networking activities for their members. Leases are usually month-to-month with flexible terms, allowing people to scale up or down quickly.

Industrious and WeWork offer their members something else: Access to their locations in other cities when they’re traveling. Industrious has a network of 29 locations, including four in Atlanta, two in Nashville and one in Raleigh. WeWork has more than 160 locations in 17 countries, including three in Atlanta, two in Nashville and one in Raleigh.

And with their bigger scale, they’ve also inked deals with bigger companies looking for flexible space, places to base creative teams and temporary offices. WeWork has agreements with Spotify, Microsoft and Deloitte, among others, while Industrious has companies like Lyft, GM and Chipotle using its offices.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo