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Carlyle Backs Co-Working Platform As Property Companies Take On WeWork

Carlyle Backs Co-Working Platform As Property Companies Take On WeWork
Carlyle's co-working building in Borough

WeWork has started raising money to buy buildings. And now the owners of buildings are setting up their own co-working brands to take advantage of the growth of the sector.

Carlyle is the first real estate player in the U.K. to start buying buildings specifically for occupation by a co-working business, a business that it is also backing.

It has set up a joint venture with the Adir Group, which had set up co-working company net.works, and created a new brand called Uncommon.

Carlyle has bought three buildings in London that will be occupied by Uncommon, and plans to buy more over the next two years, investing a total of £150M.

It has bought an 18K SF building in Islington, a 25K SF office in Borough and a 26K SF office in Fulham. It said it aims to capitalise on growing demand for co-working space from both small businesses and startups and established companies that need flexible space.

“Being both the owner of the property and owner-operator of the business sets us apart from the flexible office competition,” Carlyle Managing Director Peter Stoll said.

Adir's Chris Davies said the company had a huge focus on workplace well-being, right down to the way the buildings smell.

“We want people to feel better about being at work, so we've applied the very latest thinking in sound design, aroma, ergonomics and the psychology of productivity.  This isn't just about the occasional yoga class or desk massage — this is a completely different way of looking after your members, and a real breath of fresh air in the industry,” Davies said.

Existing landlords are also getting in on the act. On 20 June British Land is launching its own flexible workspace division that will see it give over an initial 80K SF in its London office portfolio to co-working. Parisian office giant Gecina is undertaking a similar strategy.