The way we work and live is changing, and real estate has become one of the bearers of that change. We have seen it in retail spaces, multifamily communities and office spaces. For the latter, office hospitality firm Convene claims it is guiding office into its next stage, beyond co-working space. Convene hosted an event last week at Summit L.A.18, a conference of thought leaders focused on discussing the macro trends that change the way we work and live.
“Summit does an amazing job of curating a diverse group of thought leaders and change makers, and of touching on a lot of macro trends,” Ryan Simonetti, CEO at Convene, tells GlobeSt.com. “Those trends are shaping not just the way that we work, but the way that we live and the way that we are governed. The energy is palpable, and it is great for us to get a chance to let people experience our brand and experience our workplace offering.”
Convene opened two branded locations in Brookfield office properties in Downtown Los Angeles earlier this year, and has plans to open two other amenity-centered concepts in Brookfield properties, one before the end of the year and another in 2019. While Convene has been in the market, Summit L.A. was an opportunity for leaders to experience the space. “We always try to articulate the difference between us and everyone else, and really you have to experience it,” says Simonetti. “I think people were impressed with the space and the experience. I think there is a real gap in the market for a premium experience that delivers a not only an amazing workplace but does it with hospitality at its core.”
Simonetti says that Convene is really an evolution of the changing marketplace. That evolution started with co-working, which showed the industry that companies and individuals had changing office needs. “We spend a lot of time thinking about the big trends,” he explains. “Co-working signaled to the market was that the way companies and individuals want to consume real estate has changed. It has not only changed from a financial perspective and a term perspective, but it has also changed in terms of the experience and community in the physical space. We have learned from those principals and then looked at what the next generation of what service as a space means. That is the workplace product that we built, which is focused on creating amazing spaces for teams and companies.”
The company is poised for more growth and expansion in Los Angeles. While it has four locations in Downtown Los Angeles through its partnership with Brookfield, it is looking to expand into Westside markets and forge additional partnerships with like-mined owners. “Our real estate team is activity exploring new partnerships and identifying new locations where we can expand,” says Simonetti. “We have been looking at how to expand our network into the Westside and Culver City. We have a strategy, and we are focused on finding the right landlord partners. We are looking hard to find values-aligned partners.”