OUTLOOK ON COLUMBUS COWORKING
Written by: Ross Lanford
As a Senior Vice President and Principal at Colliers | Columbus, Ross Lanford specializes in office leasing, investment sales, development and buyer/tenant representation. Through his experience in brokerage, property ownership, and asset management, he helps his clients evaluate both purchase and lease opportunities from all perspectives. Keep reading for an overview of the current Columbus coworking market and to get Ross’ take on future opportunities in the coworking sector.
From what you’ve seen, how has the pandemic affected coworking in Columbus so far this year?
It has definitely negatively affected the overall industry to this point as you can see by the number of closures and bankruptcies that have already occurred. With that said, I do think the coworking industry still has a place in the market and the companies that survive will thrive over the long haul.
Have you heard any interesting thoughts or insights from local coworking operators about the future of shared space?
Yes, they believe it will need to continue to evolve with more private offices and social distancing, but that they are already seeing a number of new members who are tired of working from home and need a change of scenery.
A lot of experts are saying that remote work is here to stay. Do you see this as an obstacle or an opportunity for coworking operators?
I see this as a major opportunity. Not everyone has the ability or the option of working from home and coworking spaces provide that solution if they do not have a permanent office to return to.
Do you anticipate a change in demand in CBD coworking locations vs. suburban coworking locations?
Very much so. The CBD coworking locations have already taken, and will continue to take, the biggest short term hit. I say ‘short term’ as I do expect that demand to rebound, but it will be long after the suburban locations have done so.
How do you think coworking spaces and operators will have to change or adapt post-COVID?
The hoteling concept will have to change and we’ll start to see more assigned seating and private offices throughout coworking spaces. However, the overall benefits that coworking spaces provide will still be there, which is the reason I think they still have a place in the market and will survive long term.