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Coworking Company Bond Collective Opening First California Location This Fall

Come this fall, the former Desmond’s department store on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles will be the first Los Angeles and California location for the coworking company Bond Collective. The office spaces will occupy five of the 1920s-era building’s seven floors, taking up a total of roughly 45K SF.

The multilevel coworking space opens at a time when Downtown’s office market is struggling and the delta variant has some companies pressing pause on plans to bring workers back to their offices.

Bond Collective’s Downtown location, owned by LA-based Afton Properties, has been in the works for about two years. Prior to the coronavirus, Downtown’s profile was on the rise and money was streaming in. But as it did elsewhere, the pandemic forced companies to press pause on openings, slowed construction projects and generally put a damper on many of the elements that boosters and elected officials pointed to when they spoke of a revitalization of the area.

Looking out at Broadway from the second floor of the Bond Collective's Downtown location

Bond Collective CEO and co-founder Shlomo Silber said he doesn’t see the greater Downtown office market as having too much of an effect on the company’s new offering. The larger corporations and businesses that rent space in Downtown office buildings and towers aren't the same companies that are going to sit at the dedicated desks and glass-enclosed offices at Bond Collective, he said. 

“It's much more of the startup, entrepreneurial community that's coming into these spaces,” Silber said. “They're kind of making their own decisions.”

Silber said he anticipates a Downtown rebound and thinks that this new space is poised to reap the benefits. He pointed to the newly opened Apple Store about two blocks away in the thoroughly renovated and landmarked Tower Theatre and the rooftop basketball court at the Jumpman LA shoe store next door as signs that the Bond Collective is in the right place. Silber said the building’s architecture and history as well as the transitional, hip feel of the neighborhood made him sure this space would be a good fit for the company’s first LA space. 

The space’s stylish design and hospitality-influenced touches differentiate it from those of existing operators Downtown, Silber said. Design is done in-house by Bond Collective's design team, while Downtown LA-based architecture firm Omgivning was the architect of record for the building.

Bond Collective CEO and co-founder Shlomo Silber

Silber declined to share numbers on how much the Downtown location cost to renovate and build out, saying, “Can I answer ‘a lot’?” 

In the common areas, the original, restored columns, brass finishes and eye-catching light fixtures are meant to draw members out, make them feel as though they might be in a boutique hotel. Private bathrooms, including one with a shower on every floor, are also meant to provide a hospitality-type experience to people using the space. There will also eventually be a restaurant on the roof, though it is fully independent of the coworking space. 

Pricing on the Bond Collective website indicates rates starting at $300 for shared spaces and tables and $900 a month for a private office.

Though coworking companies suffered from the repercussions of a public health crisis that discouraged congregating indoors with strangers for the last year and a half, as 2021 goes on, smaller operators and even giants like WeWork have opened new locations across town — in West Adams, in Hawthorne, in Beverly Hills. 

The Bond Collective’s Broadway location is expected to launch a soft opening in September and have its full space open in October. It is about 10% pre-leased, according to Silber, though he noted Bond has not been actively marketing the space as it usually would with a new location. In a pre-pandemic world, a new location would typically open about 20% to 30% pre-leased, he said. 

“Month-over-month, we're seeing a lot more interest,” Silber said, adding that he expects that momentum will continue to build gradually. “It's not like you open up the valve and everything comes rushing out. It's more like a nice, steady drip.”