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This column is written by Alex Taylor and sponsored by Arlington Economic Development‘s Business Investment Group.

Over the last decade, coworking spaces and related concepts have taken the commercial real estate sector by storm.

What used to be a niche industry focusing primarily on executive suites and conference facilities quickly became accessible to everyone from tech entrepreneurs and home-based businesses to major corporations looking for short-term, flexible space to service a multitude of different business opportunities.

Each space offers unique amenities tailored to a certain clientele, and while many in the commercial real estate industry remain skeptical of market saturation, others have come to believe coworking is here to stay as an important asset to the business community.

Surprisingly, the Washington, D.C. region has been one of the slowest markets to adopt coworking. In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area only 0.5% of commercial office space is leased by coworking firms, compared to 3.5% in Austin, 3.0% in Seattle and 2.5% in New York City (New Knight Frank). Part of the reason for this is the nature of the entities doing business.

The federal government and its related contractors, lobbyists and law firms still cherish large swaths of private office space for varying reasons, often regarding security. Although the D.C. region has had a slow start in gaining traction for this alternative work environment, demand for coworking space could quickly pick up with the arrival of Amazon and the continued diversification of the economy toward more technical and innovative industries.

Back in 2015, Arlington Economic Development aided in recruiting 1776 and Eastern Foundry, two early entrants into the coworking space, in an effort to foster the growth of early-stage and fast-growing startups in Arlington.

The idea was to create an environment that provided the resources and office stock to meet the budgetary and business needs of the companies that were to be the future of our economy. Arlington’s commercial office market now features 21 coworking spaces, not including offerings like flexible spaces and speculative suites that developers and building managers are introducing to the flexible work environment.

As individuals and companies look to utilize space differently, coworking facilities are offering a convenient alternative to those who find themselves between “starting out of the garage” and signing a long-term lease. The ability to showcase a wide variety of real estate options allows Arlington to recruit the rapidly growing companies which will eventually require larger, long-term spaces and feed Arlington’s tax base.

As Arlington recruits nationally and internationally, coworking stock continues to be an important selling point to companies looking to make soft entries into our business ecosystem. It allows companies to ‘test the market’ while giving themselves time to find a permanent space should they be successful.

As the definition of coworking continues to grow and adapt, the void these spaces fill in the office market continues to be an invaluable asset as we build a more diverse, forward-thinking economy.

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Industrious, the largest premium coworking and flexible workspace provider in the U.S., will officially open its Ballston location on January 7, growing its presence in the D.C. Metro area.

Industrious is known for its beautiful and professional workspaces which are customized for entrepreneurs and mature startups through Fortune 500 companies. Its flexible workspaces are designed for optimal productivity and happiness — with everything from natural light and greenery to a mix of spaces that cater to all types of work and personalities.

The new office will be located in the heart of Ballston — on the third floor of 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Ballston Exchange’s 4201 tower. Within the space, members will find single desks, large conference rooms, luxurious common areas meant for building a strong community, a private nursing room and a kitchen filled with locally sourced coffee and snacks. The property also offers a direct connection to the Ballston Metro Station for seamless commutes and is located right across from Ballston Quarter, a new place for folks to gather, dine and shop.

Industrious offers workspace consultations and virtual tours for those interested in learning more about the different workspace solutions Industrious offers. Industrious will also host a Select Preview week from January 7-11, where members of the community can test out the space and join us for a week of networking, office tours and events to introduce and celebrate the new space. And if you refer a friend, Industrious will say thanks with up to $2,000 and also give new members a discount credit of equal value.

Check out the Industrious website for more information on the company that brings you a great day at work, everyday.

Morning Notes

More Details on WeWork in Rosslyn — “WeWork has made it official: The coworking space provider is expanding, in a big way, into Rosslyn. Its newest location, expected to open in the second quarter of 2019, will include more than 1,400 desks across four floors of JBG Smith Properties’ CEB Tower, 1201 Wilson Blvd.” [Washington Business Journal]

Wreaths Laid Despite Rain — “Despite the rain, tens of thousands of volunteers came out on Saturday to lay wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery… President Trump made an appearance, speaking to soldiers while at the cemetery.” [WJLA, Fox News]

Explainer: State Roads in Arlington — “Though it’s not obvious, the roads you use every day are owned by an overlapping patchwork of governments, regulatory bodies, and private interests. This isn’t a story of tyrannical state governments imposing their will upon localities, but of intergovernmental coordination that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.” [Greater Greater Washington]

New ART Route Starts Today — “ART 72 connects North Arlington to Ballston and Shirlington. The new route, along with Metrobus 22A/C, brings more frequent weekday service between Ballston and Shirlington. Service operates every 20 minutes during rush hours and every 30 minutes the rest of the day.” [Arlington Transit]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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The owner of a Rosslyn office building is changing up how it leases out some of its space, in a bid to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of government contractors.

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust announced today (Wednesday) that it’s rebranding some of its space at the Arlington Tower (1300 17th Street N.) as “Space+.” The firm acquired the property, located just across the street from Dark Star Park, back in January for about $250 million.

The program is designed to offer prospective tenants “high quality office space that can be customized and configured to be as large or small as a business needs at any given time,” according to a press release. The developer is marketing a variety of spaces in the building that resemble traditional coworking offices, but can also be customized to suit each business’s desires.

In all, about 22,000 square feet of the building’s 398,000 square feet of space will be reserved for the “Space+” offerings, according to spokeswoman Liz Wainger. The space will be available for lease right away, she added.

“Space+ reflects our willingness to be creative on lease term and structures, all to accommodate tenants who are grappling with rapid change in their industries,” Wainger wrote in an email. “Our bread and butter are smaller growing enterprises and contractors with immediate needs.”

Primarily, the company is hoping to ride a projected surge in new federal business in the area. Though many property owners in Rosslyn, in particular, have struggled with high vacancy rates in recent years, the developer doesn’t expect that trend to last much longer — particularly with Amazon coming to town soon.

“According to an analysis of government contracts awarded in the six zip codes in and around Arlington Tower, the data shows that nearly 370 contractors have been recently awarded or imminently expect to be awarded contracts that will notch a greater than 10 percent funding increase in 2018, with continued hikes in year-over-year funding in 2019,” the company wrote in the release. “With the ability to meet company demands — regardless of size — Space+ availability at Arlington Tower answer[s] the anticipated demand with straightforward pricing and fast move-ins to single offices, collaborative work spaces and furnished suites.”

Several other firms offering coworking offices and other flexible spaces have also opened in Rosslyn in recent months, including WeWork, Spaces, Convene and Eastern Foundry.

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Ballston’s work, live and play neighborhood has been getting a lot of attention lately. With Ballston Quarter opening soon and a ton of new restaurants, retail, multifamily and office space, it has truly unleashed a new identity for the neighborhood and has taken Arlington by storm.

In the world of coworking, we like to think TechSpace has been contributing to this excitement. If you have not seen us yet, we’d like to invite you to come visit us at TechSpace Ballston where we can take your small business to the next level.

A few ways TechSpace is redefining the coworking experience:

Concierge Staff

From the moment you walk in our space, you are warmly greeted by Julie Manning, the Site Manager, and Gabby, our Member Services Coordinator.

For companies, especially those in the early stages of their operations, we find it essential to be their biggest support system. The burden of having to hire a full-time office manager, IT support and administrators can be daunting. We take that burden away and have everything taken care of for you.

Our Community

Our campus has a great community feel.

Every day, you will not only be warmly welcomed by the TechSpace staff, they host a multitude of fun and educational networking events each month for members to meet and mingle (don’t be surprised if you find Julie or Gabby making the members waffles for breakfast some mornings)!

Flexible Space:

In addition to providing turnkey, flexible office spaces, we provide flexible terms and cool environment without sacrificing productivity. Our sleek and spacious suites and on-demand conference rooms allow growing companies to maintain productive work environments that most coworking spaces cannot provide.

Zack Armstrong of Quantum Partners and a TechSpace member states, “TechSpace has provided incredible customer service to Quantum since day one. Any request or issue that has been brought to the staff’s attention has been addressed immediately, which has not always been the case at other coworking spaces that we have been a part of in the past. Also, our teams’ productivity has increased significantly since moving to TechSpace.”

Our Tech

Your business needs a scalable, secure and fast platform that provides flexibility for all its users.

With TechSpace, that’s exactly what you’ll get: our technology is engineered specifically for your business. Each member receives access to dedicated, reliable, and fast connectivity featuring the latest in routing and switching, wireless, and security technologies.

Not only will you save time and money, but you’ll also gain peace of mind when your company connects to your own dedicated, private, and highly secure VLAN and enterprise Wi-Fi network.

So come see us when you’re thinking about taking your company to that next level. All the hard work is taken care of without the startup costs associated to setting up your own office – furniture, internet, staff, IT network, phone lines, and more. We’ve got it handled, so come check us out!

We look forward to meeting you! Contact Julie Manning, view her tour availability or call her direct at (703)-650-7702.

Morning Notes

WeWork Coming to Rosslyn — Another coworking space is coming to Rosslyn. WeWork is reportedly coming to three floors near the top of the new CEB Tower. [Washington Business Journal]

Board Passes Four Mile Run Plan — Despite some dissatisfaction among those who live in a nearby community, the Arlington County Board voted unanimously to adopt as-is the proposed Four Mile Run Valley Park Master Plan and Design Guidelines, which includes “a comprehensive Master Plan for Jennie Dean Park and Shirlington Park, with short and mid-term recommendations for maintaining and improving Shirlington Dog Park.” [Arlington County]

Memorial Bridge Closure Rescheduled — Due to high river levels, work on and the closure of the Arlington Memorial Bridge has been rescheduled to this coming weekend. [Twitter, National Park Service]

Salt Storage Structure Approved — “The Arlington County Board today voted to allow the County to build an interim salt storage structure before winter sets in, on County-owned property on Old Dominion Drive, between 25th Road N. and 26th Street N.” [Arlington County]

Scooter Injury in Crystal City — A woman on a motorized scooter reportedly suffered a dislocated elbow after she accidentally ran into a wall in the Crystal City area Friday evening. The safety of the electric rental scooters has been questioned both locally and nationally. [Twitter]

Coming ‘Flood’ of Medicaid Applicants — “The Arlington County Board today voted unanimously to accept state funding that will help pay for additional staff needed to process an expected flood of new applications for Medicaid under the state’s expanded program, Cover Virginia… ‘Under the expanded program, we expect 3,000 more County residents will qualify. Childless low-income adults with no disabilities, a group previously excluded, and families and persons with disabilities whose income previously was not considered to be low enough to qualify will now be eligible for coverage.'” [Arlington County]

Packer Drops By Clarendon Day — Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones, in town for Sunday’s game against the Redskins — the local team ended up upsetting the visitors 31-17 — dropped by Clarendon Day on Saturday. He also posed for a photo with Arlington County police. [Twitter]

APS Wires 40 Schools for Fiber Connection — “Arlington Public Schools (APS) is kicking off the 2018-19 school year with a brand-new connection–ConnectArlington. Thanks to a yearlong collaboration, 40 Arlington school facilities are now up and running on the County’s own fiber optic network. APS made the switch from a commercial provider to take advantage of ConnectArlington’s high-speed, dedicated network for digital telecommunications and broadband services.” [Arlington County]

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TechSpace, a national shared office space and coworking operator with offices across the US, recently opened a new location in the Ballston quarter.

TechSpace provides elegant, private office space environments that allow businesses to create their own cultures and identities while leveraging communal experiences to enhance the well-being of employees.

“Our goal has always been to provide this type of office space solution to companies with multiple employees from any industry,” said Vic Memenas, CEO at TechSpace. “Our spaces are populated with companies from tech, media, finance, healthcare, fashion, government and run the gamut from start-ups to local & regional firms to national, enterprise corporate users. Businesses come to TechSpace for ease of use, flexibility and a great customer experience, which is inherent to our TechSpace DNA.”

When building out new campuses, the goal is to never design and deliver “cookie-cutter” spaces. TechSpace feels differentiation is important in order to capture the local goodness of each location and geographic region.

This started by providing great space aimed at solving the real estate leasing problem for small businesses but has evolved by adding specific design nuances, whether they be uniquely sized offices and suites along with an increased focus on certain types of amenities that augment the experience for each user.

“Having more open and collaborative designs blended with a focus on hospitality and flexible workspace configurations, combined with shorter terms, increased flexibility and the simplification of burdensome leases better align with today’s market demands,” said Memenas.

Each TechSpace location is unique unto itself with a distinct design, but every location provides companies their own branded and dedicated space, a technology platform that delivers secure user connectivity for maximum productivity all delivered by TechSpace team members focused on providing the best service to our customers.

Memenas said, “Our D.C. location is a great example of this as our spaces there are designed for companies seeking privacy and security — which are critical components for companies who do business in this market.” View a 360 degree tour of the campus.

A Brooklyn-based coworking space will become the first office tenant in the former home of the National Science Foundation’s headquarters, now known as the Ballston Exchange.

Industrious will open its third location in the D.C. area on the third floor of 4201 Wilson Blvd, according to a news release from the building’s owner, Jamestown LLP. The coworking space signed a 10-year lease at the location in a 24,795-square-foot suite.

Jamestown bought the building, as well as the adjacent 4121 Wilson Blvd, for a combined $300 million in 2015. But the NSF decided to relocate its headquarters to Alexandria last fall, spurring the property owner to kick off $140 million in renovation work at the buildings and go on the hunt for new tenants.

“The addition of Industrious shows our commitment to providing Ballston residents, workers and commuters alike with premier business and lifestyle opportunities,” Jamestown President Michael Phillips wrote in a statement.

Jamestown has already lured several restaurants to the development, with Shake Shack, We The Pizza, Philz Coffee and Cava setting up shop in recent months.

Those stores and others will line a shared courtyard between the two buildings, set to open in full by the end of the year. A pedestrian bridge will eventually connect 4201 Wilson to the newly revamped Ballston Quarter mall, but that project has encountered some delays recently.

As for Industrious, the company hopes to open its Ballston location by early 2019. It operates more than 40 coworking spaces across the country, including locations in downtown Bethesda and in D.C. near Logan Circle.

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After serving up frozen treats for the last decade along Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon, Boccato Gelato is now set to relocate.

The gelato and espresso lounge posted a notice on its front door and social media accounts Saturday (May 19) that it will soon be moving elsewhere, leaving 2719 Wilson Blvd. behind.

However, the restaurant’s managers wrote that “our future location is in the works.” They did not immediately respond to a request for comment on where they might be moving.

“While we were very lucky and blessed to have found this amazing spot in 2008, it has been quite a task and great challenge to keep up with the obligations of our lease,” Boccato’s staff wrote. “We would like to thank our landlord for giving us a chance to serve you in this wonderful location, and to all the employees of Arlington County for helping us get started and giving us the opportunity to introduce our business to the beloved town of Clarendon.”

The restaurant’s managers added that they have not yet decided on when their final day serving up scoops on Wilson Blvd. will be, and plan to post that information to their Facebook and Twitter accounts in due time.

The move will not affect the Cowork Cafe, however, which has operated out of Boccato for the last three years. The notice Boccato posted said that the Cowork Cafe has signed a new lease at the same space.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Region Sets Heat Record — The National Weather Service reports that Arlington and surrounding areas set a heat record yesterday. The temperature at Reagan National Airport reached 91 degrees, which tops the previous record of 89, set in 1930. [Twitter]

Co-Working Space Opening Soon — TechSpace, a new co-working space, will hold a grand opening event and happy hour in Ballston on May 15. The 20,000 square foot office will open in the Two Liberty Center building (4075 Wilson Blvd) across the street from the under-construction Ballston Quarter Mall. [PR Newswire]

Playground Design Meeting — County staff will present the two concepts for the new playground at Rosslyn Highlands Park and take feedback from the public at a meeting tonight. It takes place in the library at Key Elementary School at 7 p.m. [Arlington County]

Theodore Roosevelt Island Survey — The National Park Service is seeking feedback via a survey for improvements to Theodore Roosevelt Island, including possible bridge and comfort station upgrades and the addition of a boat dock. Today is the last day to submit comments. [National Park Service]

Reduced Parking in Fairlington — As the Fairlington Park Project enters its final stages, 19 parking spaces will be occupied for construction equipment staging. Visitors should plan ahead for the parking challenges.

New Marymount President — Dr. Irma Becerra has been chosen as the new Marymount University president and will take over the position on July 1. She comes to the school from St. Thomas University. [Marymount University, InsideNova]

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The former Artisphere space in Rosslyn has a new lease on life, as co-working area Spaces opened earlier this week.

Spaces is located at 1101 Wilson Blvd, in a building owned by Monday Properties. The chain’s Rosslyn location offers 303 desks in a 37,000-square-foot office space. Members can use any workstation, or can pay more to reserve one. Suites are also available for small businesses. Up to 800 members can be accommodated.

A large open area with a full kitchen, bar/café and eight beer taps can be reserved for meetings and parties, and doubles as a co-working space when not in use for events.

Members can also access 9,000 square feet of outdoor space, including a large balcony, while its upper atrium connects to Rosslyn’s Freedom Park.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Rosslyn Business Improvement District president and CEO Mary-Claire Burick said the new co-working space, one of several open or planning to open in Arlington, will foster community.

“We love how Spaces encourages a sense of community with its design, programs and overall empowering atmosphere,” Burick said. “That’s what we’re all about here in Rosslyn, so I know you and your clients will feel right at home. I want you to know that you have the full support of the Rosslyn business community, because when you succeed, we all succeed.”

Photos via Mary Parker Architectural Photography, courtesy of Monday Properties. Disclosure: Monday Properties is an ARLnow advertiser.

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