Published in Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper, March 13, 2015
Securing an affordable office space is an arduous task in New York City, where rent continues to
be pricey. Even after finding a good space, the complicated process of negotiating the lease,
moving, installing furniture and telecommunication equipment requires a massive amount of time
and cost. Moreover, many entrepreneurs, especially those only a few years into their business, do
not want to be constrained by a commercial office lease, which usually runs for a minimum of five
In the past few years, sharingeconomy businesses, such as the homesharing company, Airbnb,
and the transportation network company, Uber, have been a huge success. This business model
is also used by companies providing attractive shared workspaces with flexible conditions, which
are becoming popular among young entrepreneurs.
New Yorkbased The Yard is a leading figure in this business. Since opening its first coworking
space in 2011 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it now operates in four locations with the fifth one
scheduled to open in midtown this summer. (The photograph is from its space near Lincoln
Available office spaces range from individual desks to large suites for 15 persons. The most in-
demand are 34 person office suites. Monthly rates are $225 for a personal desk space, and $800
for a 1person private office suite. The rent includes various amenities, such as utilities, high-
speed Internet connection, and use of a kitchen and conference room. Leases can be renewed
The Yard, along with other companies, like WeWork, similarly servicing shared workspaces,
provides benefits to its members. These include taking care of administrative tasks and offering
discounted health care. They also partner with nearby restaurants and hold wine tasting events to
help members network and build a working community that is comfortable and convenient.
We can expect to see more and more of these real estate services offering reasonablypriced and
easytouse shared work spaces for startups and creators wanting to focus on their business.