WeWork Stumbles, but Coworking Remains Strong in South Florida

Miami is the city with the highest percentage of coworking in the country, and the movement is continuing to gain momentum despite a massive stumble on the part of WeWork.

A recent report by JLL names Brickell, Coral Gables, Downtown Miami, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, and suburban Palm Beach as South Florida’s top submarkets for coworking space, which it attributes to high population concentrations, a growing millennial workforce, and the prevalence of educated white-collar workers.

Coworking concentrations in South Florida. Image via JLL.

According to the most recent US Census data, Florida now leads the nation in its increase of non-employer businesses. In Q1 alone, lessees snatched up 270,000 square feet of coworking space–a quarterly number that is higher than seven of the last nine full years.

That said, WeWork’s highly publicized failed IPO has raised concerns about the underlying business model. WeWork is the region’s second-highest coworking tenant, following Regus/IWC, and just recently signed leases at the Southeast Financial Center and 830 Brickell. Experts say its fumble will make landlords more selective about who they partner with, and could create a moment of brief hardship during its downturn.

Still, many are looking to Florida for leadership given the region’s record-setting strength in the coworking marketplace. Corporations love the state’s warm weather and lower taxes– as well as  the fact that Florida’s coworking business model has been proven successful: Regus/IWG has both a $5B market cap and profitability.

WeWork may have misstepped, but given the strength of South Florida’s job market, it’s clear that the coworking concept won’t be slowing down any time soon.

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