Bamboo was born in 2013.
At that time, we were four friends who wanted a space to work together on new ideas. We invited other founders and creators to join us.
We started in a 2,000 sq. ft. space with Ikea furniture. As we’ve grown this past decade, so has our industry grown. Co-working is just 1-3% percent of the commercial real estate market. Now, most predict the co-working and flexible office industry will double in size. Work from home and hybrid work are the new normal now.
Similar to EV’s, coworking is no longer a “nice to have '' but it is now a necessary product offering in the real estate landscape. Many landlords and institutional investors are stepping in to offer coworking spaces. Commercial real estate is in crisis, turning to co-working as a solution for empty space.
We borrowed this analogy from Jason Anderson of Venture X who spoke at our industry conference last week in Chicago: “Depending on who you were EVs were a good or bad thing. Now every manufacturing is going Hybrid or EV. The same trajectory is happening to flexible office spaces. It was once viewed as second class. Now it makes no sense to sign a ten year lease and build out your own office space." - Jason Anderson, Venture X President, a coworking franchise.
What makes Bamboo unique is our reinvention of retail like spaces into community innovation. We not only develop, design, and operate our locations, but we know how to cultivate the space for entrepreneurs. We co-create within our local community. We program our spaces. We are entrepreneurs and operators. This authenticity and track record has helped us continue to thrive in a post-pandemic world.
GCUC Conference Recap
Last week, we attended GCUC’s 2023 conference for coworking spaces. It was interesting to see the rising trend towards coworking which were to re-affirming to us.
“We’re heading into the biggest correction commercial office space has ever seen,” said Wayne Berger, CEO of The Americas IWG. “Flex office is better for people. It’s better for the environment. It’s better for the company's bottom line.”
The message was clear: coworking is on the rise. Commercial offices are changing. The urban markets are recovering slowest. Most are expanding now to underserved places and communities. Many are refining their value, which lies in experience and hospitality.
No one wants to go back to a traditional office building anymore. They want to go somewhere new. They want experience. They want to enjoy their environment. They want it to be worth it and better than being at home.
The best coworking operators will consider a mix of the following trends: underserved markets, hospitality and experience, wellness and brand definition. They will focus on serving their customers where they are at. They will lean into what makes them unique. For Bamboo, that's leaning into our focus on community innovation and continuining to grow here in Michigan as a co-working provider.