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OC Co-Working Market Tops 680K SF

Carrie Rossenfeld Office

More than 680,000 square feet of space in Orange County is currently being occupied by co-working companies, according to a blog post by Bob Thagard, executive managing director, and Eric Kenas, research director, Greater Los Angeles/Orange County, with Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), which has also released a report on the subject. The total footprint size for OC co-working space is higher than the Greater Downtown Los Angeles area, where coworking companies occupy more than 500,000 square, the blog post states.

While Orange County’s current coastal coworking scene may not be as massive as Greater Los Angeles at over 3 million square feet or San Diego at over 1.2 million square feet — and both still growing — it is still an impressive number. Still in its infancy phase, co-working spaces only account for a fraction of Orange County’s 90 square feet of total office inventory, but it’s a concept that appears to be in expansion mode, says C&W.

“As a whole, Orange County usually experiences some trickle effect with Los Angeles, and as a result we would expect it to also follow suit with its co-working growth trajectory, although it is highly unlikely to ever actually match L.A.’s coworking footprint, based sheerly on inventory,” Kenas says.

Like Los Angeles, the central business district in Orange County (the Greater Airport Area submarket) has been a primary destination for co-working business — although companies are continuously positioning themselves in the suburban areas of both regions. Thagard and Kenas say, “Our research indicates the Greater Airport Area accounts for over 62 percent (or a 428,600-square-foot) share of Orange County’s total co-working space. Within this figure, the Irvine submarket houses 57 percent of such facilities, while Newport Beach and Costa Mesa house 23 percent and 20 percent market share, respectively, within the Greater Airport area.”

C&W also reports that the suburban South County market comprises the second-largest portion with nearly one-fourth or 23 percent of Orange County’s co-working footprint, with over half (55 percent) of that occupancy positioned in the Irvine Spectrum submarket. Central County makes up 12 percent market share, with the West and North County areas each respectively filling 2 percent and 1 percent of the coworking space countywide.

Additionally, the City of Irvine harbors the largest number of locations, with a total of 15 between its Irvine and Irvine Spectrum submarkets. Newport Beach follows with six locations, trailed by Costa Mesa with four and Orange with three locations.