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ICSC Panel: Coworking Is ‘Four Seasons vs. Bellagio’ by Commercial Observer

Coworking has become such a gargantuan industry that it’s sometimes difficult to believe there’s room in the market for the dozens of operators that have cropped up over the last six years.

“There’s a customer for the Four Seasons, there’s a customer for a Marriott, there’s a customer for the Bellagio and it all lends itself to who that customer is,” said Justin Stewart, co-founder and president of.

Cushman & Wakefield during a panel at ICSC. “For us, the customer is usually the later-stage company with an average age of 39, 40 while WeWork lends itself to 24, 25, 26,” Stewart continued.

Though the coworking sector has existed since the mid 1970s, as Murray pointed out, the offering has exploded over the past 5 to 10 years as technology and worker preferences make having to be in a traditional office less of a necessity.

“When we entered Chicago in 2013, we were the third coworking company. Fast forward to 2019, there’s 87 different coworking companies in Chicago,” Stewart said.

To further extend the analogy of the hotels, the Fortune 500 companies that utilize Industrious want a highly amenitized feel, like a Four Seasons unlike startups or the image of coworking of years past, there are “[fewer] events, [fewer] kegs in the corner, music in the hallways.

The platform, which finds its coworking locations by renting out premium restaurant space in eateries that do not open until 5 p.m., typically charges $20 a day or $150 per month, so ends up being less of a commitment than other players like Industrious.