Boston’s coworking scene just got bigger this week with the opening of two new WeWork locations, offering space for 1,000 members.
If you’ve traveled to New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Seattle, you might’ve seen a WeWork office. The company is a leader of the coworking movement, so naturally it expanded to Boston, where businesses are sharing kitchens and conference rooms, and working side by side with increasing regularity.
In fact, shared workspaces are so popular here that WeWork already is planning to double the size of its two offices — one on Atlantic Avenue, opposite South Station, and one across the water on Melcher Street — in the coming year.
Even with existing options like Workbar, the Cambridge Innovation Center and SnapSuites, WeWork CXO Noah Brodsky (that’s chief experience officer) is convinced that Boston has not hit its coworking ceiling.
“We’re not even close,” he told me on a tour of the facilities, while construction crews hustled to finish on time. “When people are using Uber and Airbnb and Hubway bikes and everything else, you don’t need as much personal space. You’re happy to work in a shared environment. People just aren’t looking for as much personal space.”
WeWork offers much of the standard coworking fare: There’s a beer keg on every floor and an endless supply of organic coffee. Individual desks cost $400 per month, and private offices start at $550.
But a new entry to the market has to do something to stand out among the competition. Location is a big one. Both WeWork offices are short walks to South Station, where entrepreneurs can hop on trains to New York and Washington, or take the Silver Line to Logan for West Coast business trips. Because of WeWork’s presence in other cities, travelers have instant workspaces once they arrive.
Then there’s the diversity of tenants that WeWork attracts. There are a lot of tech startups, sure, but the office in Soho West, for instance, is home to a modeling agency.
“When they do shoots they bring in models — they’re very popular with the other businesses,” said Brodsky, laughing. “You come out for a coffee and there’s 15 gorgeous models sitting there having coffee with you. It’s like, ‘Nice, I like my office. This is a cool place to work.’ ”
Space is filling fast in Boston, but there’s still time for a modeling agency to set up here, too.