There’s more than one way to work at a predominantly retail center, as Starwood Retail Partners will show with the January 2019 grand opening of creative coworking facility Spaces at its Blue Back Square mixed-use property in West Hartford, Conn. Spaces, a pioneer in flexible workspaces is moving into a 25,733-square-foot former REI location. It will be the third co-working facility at a Starwood Retail property, joining Percolator, a locally owned collaboration and co-working space, which debuted at the company’s MacArthur Center in Norfolk, Va., in August, and Office Evolution, which has been hosting entrepreneurs and small businesses at Belmar in Lakewood, Colo., since 2016.
“Flexible workplaces are a perfect solution for entrepreneurs seeking affordable space, but still want access to services and socialization,” explained Jeff Zeigler, COO of Starwood Retail Partners. “To succeed, they need convenient locations, and our retail and mixed-use projects provide that. We can reuse space in a manner that is relevant to today’s users. And these business owners, their colleagues and collaborators will enjoy the many shopping, dining, entertainment and other amenities that are the hallmark of Starwood Retail.”
Originally from Amsterdam, Spaces is a part of IWG plc, which also owns Regus, a pioneer in flexible workspaces. Designed for startups, freelancers and other entrepreneurs, the 3,200-square-foot Percolator is situated inside the enclosed MacArthur Center, with easy access to the project’s stores, restaurants and services. Rents begin at $225 per month for a flex desk, which includes the space, high-speed internet, a fitness center, use of collaboration rooms, snacks and drinks, a copier and discounts to area restaurants and businesses. It will join three other Percolator locations around the city.
Zeigler notes that Starwood Retail also has or is adding traditional office spaces at several properties. Ford Motor Co. has leased a former department store space at Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn, Mich., for nearly 2,000 professionals. Several other properties also have office space above retail. And plans call for a Class A office building as part of the $125 million reimagining of The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano, Texas.