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New co-working space startup seeks CRE broker, investors for FL expansion plans

A trio of Brazilian businessmen opening their first co-working space in Downtown Orlando are already thinking expansion, seeking an office real estate broker who can research Tampa, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and investors to back the new locations.

Located at 14 E. Washington St., Sbrubbles will occupy 8,000 square feet on the building's second floor, with a soft opening event to be held Thursday at 5 p.m.

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The concept was developed over the past year by Rio de Janeiro natives Rodrigo Berretta, Leonardo Martins and Glauco Pochine, veterans of Brazilian business and finance who each moved to Orlando in recent years with nascent ideas for a better co-working business.

The group knows they're coming into a competitive co-working market in Orlando, with the likes of Co-Lab, Canvs and Catalyst. They think Sbrubbles' concept is different, promoting synergy between space-sharers and the benefit of multiple locations in many cities, to be built out over time.

"We realized most co-working businesses worldwide are one-offs, but our business plan follows the path of those leading the market, like WeWork which has (28) locations worldwide," Berretta told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "We love Orlando's downtown, its growth with millennial and young tech workers. But this is just the beginning, we are starting negotiations with investors for other cities."

The trio found their E. Washington Street location on their own, negotiating a four-year lease with renewal option for five years directly with building owner Antonio Romano, a Brazilian mechanical engineer and head of Atlantic Express Real Estate Development. They've invested more than $350,000 thus far in crafting the brand, developing a business plan and build-out of the first location.

They're now open to meeting commercial real estate brokers who can provide market research and property scouting in their expansion targets of Tampa, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Desired size of those spaces will correlate with market demand, but Berretta envisions 10,000 to 12,000 square feet for each.

Private investors are also being sought to help finance those new locations, with a business plan prepared for the growth strategy, Berretta said. An estimated $350,000 or more will be needed for each new opening.

New coworking spaces increased 36 percent worldwide between 2014 and 2015, with more than 7,800 locations and 510,000 members as of October, according to an annual Global Coworking Survey by Deskmag and SocialWorkplaces.com.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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