We live, We Play, ‘WeWork’
July 18, 2014
Take a stroll west on Hollywood Boulevard just past the tourist hub that is Hollywood and Highland, past the historic Hollywood Roosevelt, and just a few steps beyond our soon to open Marshalls and you’ll find yourself in another realm. Beyond the camera clicks and questionable superhero costumes, you’ll see a new breed of individuals…employees. Just beyond Orange Avenue, a micro neighborhood of offices and residences has opened up giving way to a new demographic of Hollywood regulars. In this two block radius you’ll find the hip, the cool, and even the old fashioned. Where are they coming from? Well, a good guess would be from work…’WeWork’ to be specific.
‘WeWork’ is a community of creators providing collaborative workspace to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Hollywood that opened in Spring of 2012. Since that time the company has dramatically expanded in size, now occupying two entire floors and a lobby space of the old Stephen Cannell building at 7083 Hollywood Blvd. Now some of you may be thinking, “What exactly is a collaborative workspace office community? “ Well, to answer that let me first ask you a few questions…
- Have you ever needed temporary office space?
- Or, are you starting a business and want to have room to grow?
- Want your own office but can’t afford the rent in a traditional office building?
- Or maybe…you just hate working alone?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a collaborative workspace like ‘WeWork’ just may be the answer for you. The company offers from one person to six person offices on a month to month basis. Also, included in the monthly fee are such amenities as internet access, printing, private conference and meeting rooms, free beverages, and not to mention great networking opportunities with other creative businesses like yourself around pretty much every corner.
Last summer our office had the privilege of re-locating to ‘WeWork’ while our current building was under construction for retrofitting. The experience was somewhat unreal. From the video game break room to four legged friends wandering the hall, the creativity and energy in ‘WeWork’ is undeniable. Down in the lobby, the company has taken over a former bank office and turned it into ‘WeWork Labs’. A true “community space,” ‘Labs’ is the most cost effective of the rental options for those individuals looking for a casual place to work and interact with others, while still having access to a kitchen and other perks within reasonable reach.
In sitting down with Community Manager, Eyad Zahra, I learned that the company has been well received here in Hollywood. “Whereas last summer you guys were able to come in and get an office space, this year we have a waiting list,” he tells me as we overlook the Boulevard. The company has truly become an incubator of sorts for various businesses and ventures. I know when I was there you couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement and think that just possibly the next ‘Pure Fix Cycles,’ ‘Uber,’ or even ‘Google’ could be working right next door to you. Entertainment companies (film, music, and media) make up the majority of the tenant mix at 50%, with Tech Startups following at 30%. The remaining 20% are an eclectic mix of “traditional” and “non-traditional” businesses, ranging from Consulting, Fashion, and even Legal Services. Zahra explains, “Folks here really do become a community, regardless of whatever your individual business is.” Whether it’s hanging out at a Dodgers’ game or meeting up at such curated events as an “Investor Meet and Greet,” or educational seminars on Small Business Loans, ‘WeWork’ is out to do everything it can to make their home feel like your own.
So what happens when you outgrow your space? There are actually a few options to rent some larger space within the community, but several businesses have actually opted to relocate to larger locations right within the Hollywood area. “It’s nice to know that those businesses that start here, become successful and grow, are able to continue to be a part of Hollywood,” Zahra shared with me. If you ask me I say ‘WeWork’ is doing more than just fostering their community, in reality they are helping to grow ours.
A member of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance staff since 2007, Joseph Mariani has enjoyed seeing the continued positive growth in Hollywood. Serving as the BID’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development Mariani works closely with property owners, the retail and investment community, commercial real estate brokers and the city’s economic development team to implement the BID’s strategic marketing and communications blueprint. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside and completed his MBA at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. Mariani is an avid sports fan, loves spending time with his amazing wife, and enjoys volunteering at the Oasis of Hollywood. Check out the latest Hollywood happenings @GoodNewsJoe