Local commercial broker and property owner Robert Smith is opening up the unused space at his downtown Orlando headquarters through the launch of a new coworking platform, Boomerang Office.
Office and meeting space will be available to individual professionals and small teams who may be looking to get out of their home offices, temporarily, and into a collaborative office setting, Smith told GrowthSpotter.
The concept is launching at the headquarters of his boutique Orlando brokerage firm, Smith Equities Real Estate Investment Advisors, at 350 E. Pine Street.
Smith began crafting the concept after he lost the original tenant over the summer due to COVID-19.
The two-story office building offers one small-sized office suite, four medium-sized office suites and three large office suites, all furnished, as well as outdoor patio space and a 280-square-foot conference room located on the first floor and a 160-square-foot private conference room on the second floor.
Users have an option to pay individual daily rates or rates that apply to groups of people, ranging from up to two people for medium-sized office suites and four people for large office suites.
Boomerang Office teamed up with Satellite Deskworks, which will provide all the back-end support, including automated scheduling and touchless online tools to create memberships, building access and accounting services.
Daily rates range between $75 for small office suites to $145 for large office suites. Members can book up to 20 days of the month for rates that range between $750 to $1,450 for larger office suites per month. Daily rates for a dedicated desk is $39 and hourly rates begin at about $7.30.
Serendipity Labs, coworking operator in downtown Orlando’s CNL Center Building, also offers daily rates at $29 per person, in addition to meeting and event areas.
In January, shared office, work and meeting space provider e|spaces opened its newest location at SunTrust Plaza. The platform offers daily meeting/event space, for groups as small as four or large enough to fit 110 people at once. Shared working space requires a full or part-time membership.
Smith said he plans on offering the Boomerang Office platform to other property owners and managers in the commercial real estate industry looking to maximize underutilized commercial assets.
He adds the Boomerang Office’s current location is a short-term solution because it’s located on the site where developer Summa Development Group is planning a new mixed-use skyscraper that would bring the first 5-star hotel to Orlando’s Central Business District.
“It’s a great use of the asset, if [plans] do or don’t go forward,” he said, adding he believes the Orlando office market will make a strong return.
“There’s so many things going on in downtown Orlando,” he said. “We got the infrastructure, and once [rail systems] connect to the airport, South Florida, Tampa and Jacksonville, and the Sports + Entertainment District across from the Amway Center is complete, people will really want to be close to all those things.”
Adam Segal, CEO and co-founder of cove, a company that specializes in creating technology for today’s work spaces, said the office is going through a major evolution.
“Companies are calling into question its role … As a result, now more than ever, office building owners need to embrace this uncertainty and create a differentiated product that speaks to modern companies,” he said. “The notion of a 10-year lease by a company, historically a staple in the office world, is becoming obsolete in favor of flexibility.”
He adds cities like Orlando and Denver have the opportunity to capture future office demand as populations shift to cities that are less expensive and have a better quality of life.
Richard Solik, an executive managing director at Colliers International, estimates 10% to 15% of companies will have their people either go 100% back to work or continue working remotely, while the rest will likely incorporate some form of a hybrid of the two.
Solik, who focuses on tenant representation at Colliers International’s Central Florida office, told GrowthSpotter companies are taking the time to re-evaluate their space.
“When returning to their office, the average tenant has implemented temporary modifications,” he said. “Companies are not going to make a huge investment to retrofit their space until they have determined what their company’s space utilization strategy will be.”
Editor’s note: The story has been updated to include daily and hourly dedicated desk rates at Boomerang Office.