Knotel is on the hunt for London and Dublin office space amid a race for space in the co-working sector.
The flexible office provider – which furnishes office space for companies and sublets it back to them under flexible terms for a mark-up – has already leased 120,000 sq ft in London and is about to sign a further 180,000 sq ft.
At the end of 2019, it plans to reach 500,000 sq ft. This remains far off WeWork’s London occupancy, which is roughly 3.4m sq ft according to Radius Data Exchange, but Knotel plans to rapidly build out its portfolio in the capital.
In Dublin, it is looking to launch for the first time, with plans to secure up to 200,000 sq ft by the year-end.
Trevor Clark, vice president of growth at Knotel, said: “We move slowly and then all at once. Now that we have a team fully assembled and the product is really stable, we have been able to double our presence in London almost overnight. The goal is to be around 500,000 sq ft, but we will always take more. We want to be 1m sq ft in London very quickly.”
The firm – whose leasing deals are typically smaller than WeWork’s – is also targeting larger floorplates.
“We’ve done a 50,000 sq ft project with Uber in San Francisco. In London, our largest deal in terms of space is 101 New Cavendish Street, W1 [in December], where we leased 23,000 sq ft. We want to get to 40,000-50,000 sq ft floorplates. As we do things in areas like the City of London and Canary Wharf, that will lend itself to larger projects and more enterprise companies.”
Knotel uses an open agency system so it will consider opportunities from multiple property agents.
The firm favours leasing out floors rather than letting a whole building. It also tends to partner with a tenant looking for space.
While Knotel is focused on the world’s largest cities, it has cherry-picked Dublin due to its close ties with US technology firms. “Because 50% of our business comes from the enterprise companies, we are picking markets that are important to them, so Dublin is extremely important. Also, Dublin is such a small market with very few agents, so we can go and get density in a tight market quickly, and then it’s easier to match tenants to our office space.”