Coworking Spaces in Suburbs On the Rise

D.C.-area cities such as Arlington, Alexandria and Bethesda all seeing growth

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At the outset of the pandemic, Americans moved to the suburbs in droves, encouraged by the idea of working remotely. Now, wanting to keep their commute-free lifestyle, workers need an office space closer to their picket fence, so coworking spaces outside of major metro areas have been popping up in record numbers.

Roughly 45 percent of the coworking spaces across the country are now in the suburbs, with 37 areas across that offer at least 10 coworking locations, according to research by Coworking Café based on its proprietary data.

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Los Angeles checks the highest number of suburban coworking spaces at 361, including 91 in Irvine, the country’s largest suburb. The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area ranked second with 160 coworking spaces.

Arlington, Va., and Newport Beach, Calif., tied for second in the suburbs ranking behind Irvine, with 25 coworking spaces. Meanwhile, Alexandria, Va., ranked seventh, with 17 coworking spaces. Other suburbans on the list were Fairfax, Va., which has 12 coworking spaces, and Bethesda, Md., which has 11.

Out-migration from the District to the suburbs led to a decrease of 23,000 residents in 2021, according to D.C. Policy Center, a record high in the last two decades, so it’s not surprising that more people are working from spaces outside the city.

“With construction permits in Washington, D.C., hindered by local policies, it makes sense that any new type of real estate — including commercial — would take root outside of the urban core,” the Policy Center report noted. “Furthermore, given that the federal government hasn’t ordered a return-to-work edict and its individual agencies have been favoring downsizing, it’s only natural that coworking spaces would provide a favorable solution to D.C.’s recent shifts in the work field.”

In fact, the Washington, D.C., region stands out as an outlier from most of the nation, with more suburban flex spaces than urban ones, as 67 percent of the metro’s coworking spaces are in the suburbs. 

Coworking brands such as Regus, Perfect Office Solutions, LocalWorks and Industrious lead the way, with smaller players such as Metro Offices, Oasis Office and Navigate all starting to expand in D.C.’s suburban regions. 

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.