Forget the coffee shop – wake up to co-working.

Co-working is quickly growing, and the innovative trend stands to significantly impact the landscape of commercial real estate in the coming years. For those unfamiliar with the concept, co-working brings together independent workers into a common, rented workspace as an alternative to the corner coffee shop or home office.

From its West Coast roots in the last decade, co-working parallels the rise of the independent workforce: entrepreneurs, freelancers and others in what’s been called the “gigging economy.” Companies such as WeWork have grown to further refine and expand the concept. WeWork was recently featured in a segment on CBS Sunday Morning.

The co-working trend appears to have caught on in Houston. Level Office, a Chicago-based company similar to WeWork, opened its first Houston location in downtown in 2016 and quickly needed to expand to meet demand. More recently, Stream and American National sold the 93,000-square-foot property at 3120 Southwest Freeway to Level Office. The company’s practice is to ultimately purchase the buildings it occupies to provide round-the-clock service to its clients.

Adding to the trend, yet another co-working company, Rethink, has announced that it has acquired its first Houston location, just north of downtown. The Rethink space will cater specifically to real estate professionals.

Given the amenities and the ability to forge a sense of community in these types of spaces, co-working real estate transactions can be expected to accelerate in Houston.

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