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Sleek Designs, Kitchens And Ping Pong Tables: LA Property Owners Are Using Open Designs To Attract Millennials And Startups

Brookfield Wells Fargo Center Los Angeles

When HyreCar outgrew its WeWork space at Brookfield Properties’ Gas Company Tower, Brookfield had a perfect space for the ride-sharing rental car startup.

Brookfield several months earlier had gutted and converted a 12K SF office space into what the company calls a new technology-friendly spec suite at the South Tower of its Wells Fargo Center in downtown Los Angeles.

“We were waiting for the perfect client to market this to,” Brookfield Vice President of Leasing James Malone said. “When HyreCar came along it was a perfect fit.”

“Downtown Los Angeles was the only choice for us at HyreCar,” HyreCar CEO Elizabeth Reynolds said in an email. “There is no other place in LA as central or accessible, while being walkable and culturally rich.”

Brookfield's spec suite

The spec suite features open ceilings, a formal reception area that leads to a kitchen, C-suites, a ping-pong table and tables and chairs on an open floor for congregating. 

Gone are the compartmentalized walls, cubicles and old-school setup seen in standard office spaces. 

Traditionally, high-rises are comprised of law firms, banks, investment or financial companies, but the new look and redesign of certain units is part of a trend in commercial real estate to attract young tech or media startups, Malone said. 

“The fact is in downtown there’s not a large concentration of them,” he said.

Malone said the driving force behind these redesigns is adapting to a new workforce and to younger workers who are much more open to working in collaborative spaces. 

For the past couple of years, Brookfield has hosted several tech meet-up events as a way to get the tech community downtown into the building, Malone said.

“Even if it’s just a panel, we want to get people into our building and have them check it out,” he said. 

Inside HyreCar's new office space in downtown Los Angeles

Part of the so-called sharing economy, HyreCar, which launched in December 2014 in San Francisco, allows vehicle owners to rent out extra or unused cars sitting in the driveway to people want to use them to drive for Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing services. The company covers the insurance.

In Los Angeles, HyreCar operated out of a WeWork co-op space in the Gas Company Tower but as the company grew, it was looking for a larger office space. Malone did not disclose the terms of the deal. HyreCar will move in January 2018.

“Brookfield is supportive of that startup ecosystem, and they understand our needs, and they are big enough to be able to house us through the upcoming years of growth,” HyreCar’s Reynolds said.

CBRE’s Todd Doney, John Zanetos, Chris Penrose and Philip Ruhl along with Brookfield’s in-house team of James Malone, Marin Turney and Ian Gilbert represented Brookfield.

Cushman & Wakefield’s John Eichler, Eric Duncanson and Scott Steinback represented HyreCar.