CBRE Launches its Own Co-Working Brand

CBRE, the world’s largest real estate services firm, is jumping into the growing business of flexible workspace, according to an article in the Real Deal.

The Los Angeles-based company has launched Hana, a workspace provider that aims to compete with major coworking firms including WeWork, Regus and Knotel.

Unlike many other flexible office companies that primarily lease their spaces and operate them independently, Hana will instead focus exclusively on partnership agreements with landlords in which the brand will co-invest in the cost of building out workspaces, manage them, and then share in the revenue—forgoing rent.

CBRE’s model has the company co-investing the cost of building out co-working spaces, managing them and taking a portion of the revenue, but not collecting rent.

Office space has been leased to co-working companies in recent years at a startling rate — WeWork announced last month that it had become the largest leaseholder in the New York City with 5.3 million square feet.

CBRE said that it sees flexible office space growing from around 1% of the global supply of class A office now to about 15% or 20% of the market.

Hana will operate within the company’s real estate investment business, which manages about $100 billion and also develops real estate on behalf of clients. CBRE said it was important to create a separation between Hana and its real estate services arm to minimize the perception of bias if a CBRE commercial leasing broker were to steer a tenant to a Hana-operated space.