Once upon a time, a small business or entrepreneur had limited choices when they outgrew their home or garage office. Their only option was to engage a commercial real estate broker or negotiate directly with a landlord to secure office space, leased by the square foot. Triple-net, tenant improvement allowances, access to conference space, setting up an IT infrastructure and other challenges that would burden the entrepreneur who really just wanted to operate their dream business.
But in 2021, a host of office options exist for the one-person shop, the small business, or even the large corporation that needs to bring in a large team to complete a short-term project.
Cube Executive Suites
CUBExec, offered by Whitestone REIT, is one of the newest workspace platforms in Westchase District. “We provide entrepreneurs with flexibility and ease to successfully grow their businesses,” said Eric Blumsack, director of workspace strategy for Whitestone REIT.
The private offices at CUBExec are spacious. “We believe in maximizing natural light, and our spaces offer floor-to-ceiling windows. It makes people happier and more productive,” said Blumsack. “Also, we charge one flat rate with no add-on fees or markups. Clear pricing makes it easier for entrepreneurs to manage cash flow and focus on growing their business.”
Community members can take advantage of the onsite training room, multiple conference rooms, meeting venue and the other building amenities available at Woodlake Plaza. Since opening in December, CUBExec offices quickly leased. “Within Westchase, there is a growing need for private offices,” said Blumsack. “Our clients include a variety of professionals. They tend to be hard workers and want 24/7 access to the space. Many of them own several businesses. They network well and like to locate with other dynamic businesses,” Blumsack added.
2600 S. Gessner Rd. Suite 420
Another newcomer to the shared office space industry is Dallas-based Common Desk, which will open its fourth Houston location later this year at 2500 CityWest Blvd. Senior Area Community Manager Bobby Spoden said the space will include an array of coworking desks, plus small to midsize private offices, turn-key office suites, meeting space and all-inclusive amenities for members.
Spoden expects to see more demand for coworking space as office leases are renegotiated and restructured post-pandemic. “Home offices are not the most conducive to working,” said Spoden. “Corporate leaders and business owners are looking for the most flexible office arrangement for their employees.”
Amenities include an in-house espresso bar, cocktail lounge, weekly community events and unlimited conference room bookings. “We get to know our members to make sure everyone feels a sense of belonging when they walk into a Common Desk location,” said Spoden.
Common Desk sells memberships ranging from $50 per month for virtual mail services to larger-scale team suite offerings. Members have access to all locations in their expanding portfolio, including 18 in Texas and two in North Carolina. “Suburban markets are our number one, most successful locations,” said Spoden.”
Common Desk (coming soon)
2500 CityWest Blvd.
Avalon Suites offers private offices, day offices, conference rooms and virtual offices at 9801 Westheimer. Regional Manager Todd Kubecka, a long-time veteran of the industry, says his clients fit into three buckets.
The first group works from home but prefers a business address. For them, Avalon provides a business address and can provide professional phone answering services. The second group are those who need office space or meeting space by the hour or the day. For them, Avalon offers hourly/daily/monthly rates on fully furnished suites and meeting rooms. The third group of tenants want a full-time office space without the hassles of managing it. “The question we ask is: do you want to keep your computer and office supplies here?” said Kubecka. “If the answer is yes, they’ll reserve a full-time office that gives them 24/7 access to the space.”
Kubecka has some non-traditional users of his space as well. A student leased space for four months to study for his medical college admission test and interview for colleges. The professional background provided by Avalon Suites and the access to their technology to interview via Zoom gave this future doctor an advantage over his competition.
Soluxe Coworking Offices
Soluxe, the owners of 2901 Wilcrest, entered the coworking world when they were unable to fill a 20,000-square-foot space vacated by a tenant. “In this environment, there weren’t a lot of takers for a big space, so the owners decided to put money into it and offer it as shared space,” said Frank Staats, principal for REIS Associates, which manages the building and the coworking space.
“Many people who have been working from home are tired of it and want a more professional environment,” said Staats. Soluxe offers spaces that range from $149 per month for a shared office that accommodates three employees to $589 per month for an office that accommodates seven employees.
“We provide an affordable space with great service,” said Staats. With onsite management and onsite security, tenants also enjoy access to conference rooms, a shared kitchen, a great location and the opportunity to network with their fellow tenants. “It’s a basic office. There are not a lot of frills, but you don’t pay for that either,” said Staats. V
Soluxe Coworking Offices
2901 Wilcrest Drive
With 8,700 square feet of space at 1300 W. Sam Houston Parkway S, Office Evolution caters to the professional service industry, including independent attorneys and accountants who are looking for private office space. Owner Fritz Fowler said they tweaked their membership package earlier this year to add more flexible options. “There’s a need in the community for access to meeting rooms and shared space. So we created an option to allow for private office rental on a daily or hourly basis,” said Fowler.
“People are figuring out how to work from home, but they want to get out of the house occasionally. This plan allows them to come to our office as needed,” said Fowler.
Fowler said the majority of his members opt for a private office rather than the shared workspace. “We have attorneys, engineers, even a massage therapist,” said Fowler. “We have some start-up entrepreneurs. We know they won’t be here forever, but it’s nice to be able to be their business home while they’re ramping up.”
Office Evolution also provides business address and phone answering services.
1300 W. Sam Houston Parkway S., Suite 100
TechSpace opened with much fanfare in 2017. With 46,000 square feet of space at 2101 CityWest Blvd, it opened with two floors of fully-equipped conference rooms and 91 private office suites, in addition to shared workstations. While the common spaces have been closed due to COVID-19, TechSpace plans to reopen them when it becomes appropriate.
TechSpace has been the go-to shared space in Westchase District for companies that are expanding and building out their space. Bill.com, PCS Software and Vroom Texas Direct Auto are three businesses who launched in TechSpace while their permanent office suites were being built out.
Smaller users like TechSpace and its amenities as well. “We updated our memberships this year to allow members to book private offices by the day,” said Tara Dugal, community manager of the Westchase District location. “You can’t replicate our people, and the campus environment where we’re located sets us apart,” said Dugal citing the open-air, amenity-rich environment of the four-building campus known as CityWest Place.
In 2019, TechSpace was acquired by Industrious, making it part of the largest premium flexible workspace provider in the United States. “They are two separate brands,” said Leah Alexander, regional manager for Industrious. “But it gives TechSpace the full muscle of Industrious.”
2101 CityWest Blvd.
Regus is one of the longest-term and best-known operators in the shared space industry. With two locations in Westchase District, entrepreneurs can enjoy a full range of amenities at the location that best suits them.
The 10777 Westheimer location offers 63 private offices, four coworking desks and four meeting rooms, while the Wilcrest location offers 63 private offices, 21 coworking desks and three meeting rooms. Prices range from $29 per hour for meeting rooms to $270 per person per month for office space. Both locations are adjacent to the Westheimer retail corridor, allowing members to walk to nearby restaurants and retail.