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The Oil & Gas Industry's Pain Is Co-Working's Gain

Houston Office

The oil & gas industry's struggles as it relates to real estate have been widely publicized, from layoffs to downsizing and giant swaths of sublease space. But there’s another story beginning to play out. Those in the oil & gas industry have never been content to sit back, and they're fueling a new wave of entrepreneurial spirit in the sector that's driving tenants into the open arms of co-working providers.

Republic Square

Boxer Property CEO Andrew Segal, who will be a speaker at Bisnow's Impact of Oil and Gas on CRE event Dec. 15, is on the front lines of office leasing to small entrepreneurial outfits. Andrew sees a national trend playing out in Houston. Businesses are becoming more nimble. All that downsizing is creating opportunity.

Boxer Property has been busy trying to attract small entrepreneurial operations. Instead of being one of 5,000 in a giant building in the Energy Corridor, people are freelancing on their own or in small operations. According to Andrew, that's a vibrant market for Boxer. 


He also sees many moving away from oil & gas into sectors tangentially related, like tech or finance. People aren't leaving town, so the city is still full of expertise that needs a place to work. 

That interest has led to 18 new tenants at Boxer Property’s Republic Square in roughly the last month. Originally plans were drawn up to convert the asset into mixed-use. But Boxer and Third Palm Capital pivoted to a co-working/office space provider, which Andrew says has been a good move. (The team will still do vertical mixed-use in the project down the road.)


Just as our understanding of the modern office is evolving, so is the nature of the oil & gas industry. The Energy Corridor used to be a series of fortresses housing the world’s largest corporations. The area, much like the sector itself, wasn’t conducive to collaboration or networking. Making workspace and the business community more open, collaborative and interactive will keep the industry at the forefront of growth. 

Hear more at Bisnow's first-ever National Impact of Oil & Gas on CRE event Dec. 15. The premium, all-day event will feature over 40 of the highest caliber commercial real estate and oil & gas pros in the nation. Register today.