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April 13, 2021
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Premier Workspaces Stepping In as Other Coworking Firms Exit

4/07/21

The pandemic has shaken up the coworking/flexible office space industry with struggling and bankrupt coworking operators dominating the headlines. Many coworking operators closed their doors, leaving office building owners with empty and vacant floors previously occupied by these coworking companies.

Premier Workspaces (formerly Premier Business Centers), on the other hand, is providing owners a solution, by offering to take over many of these distressed locations. The company plans to grow by more than 100 new locations over the next few years. Premier is backed by OC-based real estate holding company, The Bascom Group LLC.

Premier, one of the largest privately held coworking/executive suite operators in the US, started off with the bankruptcy sale acquisition of American Office Centers nearly 20 years ago. Since then, the firm has owned or operated a total of 132 shared workspace locations and more than 2 msf of space. Premier’s growth over the last two decades comes from operating coworking spaces with a mix of master leases, subleases, and management/partnership agreements. This strategic growth comes not only from new buildouts, but also from the managing and repositioning of distressed locations.

As a pioneer in the management agreement model, Premier signed its first management contract to operate a coworking space nearly 20 years ago and has continued to grow the management portion of its portfolio. In 2020, Premier added five new managed shared office spaces. These managed locations also include a coworking space within a luxury apartment community – the latest amenity trend in rental housing.

Jeff Reinstein, Premier’s Chief Executive Officer, says he is convinced that businesses will not only still need office space, but also seek the flexibility and convenience of full-service office solutions like Premier Workspaces offers. With all of the news of large national and global companies going through restructuring, having to right-size their footprints or in extreme cases, filing for bankruptcy, Reinstein thinks the industry is ripe for consolidation. “Over the past nearly 20 years, Premier Workspaces has taken over and repositioned 74 distressed or bankrupt shared workspace locations.”

An example of one of the many management deals done by Premier with a large, institutional office building owner was with the Irvine Company. In this example, after another operator defaulted, Premier Workspaces quickly assumed management of over 200k sf of space across the six Irvine Company properties in Southern California. Premier was able to retain nearly all of the existing clients, dramatically reduce recurring operational expenses, and increase revenue through a more diverse product offering and favorable client negotiations. Finally, and most importantly to the building owner, Premier Workspaces converted all six locations to master leases prior to the one-year mark.

Premier’s shared workspaces were designed with an almost exclusive focus on individual, private offices, which has become highly desired in this Covid-19 environment. This allowed the company to retain almost all of its client base during the pandemic. As a result, according to company execs, Premier has seen a consistent increase in activity in recent months.




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