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CBRE Signs First Deal With Coworking Brand, Plans 25-City Expansion

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CBRE Signs First Deal With Coworking Brand, Plans 25-City Expansion
The PwC Tower in Dallas, September 2018

CBRE has gotten its new coworking venture up and running with its first deal and a timeline for the future.

Hana, which operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of CBRE under CEO Andrew Kupiec, has inked a deal to turn three floors of the PwC Tower at Park District in Dallas into coworking space, The Wall Street Journal reports. Hana will share the build-out and operating costs with the building's co-owners, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and Trammell Crow, as well as the revenue.

The partnership model is one Hana intends to repeat as it aims to expand to multiple locations in 25 markets over the next three to four years, Kupiec told the WSJ. The traditional coworking framework, wherein an independent operator such as WeWork leases space like a traditional tenant and sells memberships, results in "completely misaligned incentives," Kupiec said.

Two of the largest players in coworking, WeWork and Knotel, have introduced partnerships to their business models in response to landlords' changing attitudes and office users' changing needs. The growing similarities between all these players may not be pure coincidence or competition — Hana's chief operating officer is a former WeWork executive.

In the case of the PwC deal, CBRE has a vested interest in both the landlord and operator elements; Trammell Crow is also a wholly owned subsidiary of CBRE. Trammell Crow and MetLife opened the building in the second quarter of 2018, and Hana is projected to open in the summer of this year.