By Nancy Dahlberg
Three years ago, during the unveiling of WeWork’s first South Florida co-working location in Miami Beach, co-founder Miguel McKelvey told me that the co-working giant planned to have 5 to 7 South Florida locations open within 3 to 5 years because a network of locations is more valuable to members.
McKelvey’s prediction back in October 2015 is right no track. This week WeWork announced a sixth location, WeWork Giralda Place, slated to open during the summer of 2019. The center, part of the recently opened Giralda Place condominium at 255 Giralda Ave. in Coral Gables, will occupy six floors across more than 58,000 square foot to accommodate over 1,000 desks for members, WeWork said.
To be sure, there is no shortage of local co-working space. Miami holds the most co-working space in America, as measured by share of commercial office space, a study by research group Yardi Matrix found earlier this year. In fact, Miami-Dade’s 59 co-working centers occupy 2.7 percent of the county’s commercial office space, the study said. Two homegrown companies, Pipeline Workspaces and Buro Group, also have growing South Florida co-working networks.
WeWork currently has five locations open in South Florida: one in Downtown Miami, one in Brickell, two in Miami Beach and one in Coral Gables. WeWork Ponce De Leon (at 2222 Ponce), which opened in February, is right next door to the new Giralda location.
WeWork’s rapid expansion in South Florida mimics what it has done globally. In three years since the first South Florida location opened on Lincoln Road, WeWork’s global membership has grown from 25,000 in 56 locations to 320,000 in 335 locations. Still, McKelvey (pictured above) said in my 2015 interview: “Our motivation is to create cool spaces with cool energy. Our motivation was never to grow as fast as we can.”
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