The international chain WeWork is slowly spreading through Central Europe, but it remains to be seen if it will make it beyond Prague and Warsaw all the way to Bratislava.
Just as the presence of powerful local property groups in the Slovak capital has prevented international players from entering this small, but dynamic market, an existing ecosystem of coworking operators might well provide the incentive the rising global star needs to look elsewhere. Michal Rudinsky, 108 Agency’s new head of Office Agency, warns that the competitive environment could prove tough. “I don’t know if WeWork will want to come to Bratislava,” he said. “I think there may not be enough space in the market because the current operators are already expanding.”
HB Reavis’s concept HubHub is the most obvious example of a co-working concept, as the developer rolled out a two-floor center over 2,400 sqm at Twin City that currently has 280 members. HB Reavis has taken HubHub abroad opening new centers in Prague, Budapest, Warsaw and London. Meanwhile, Eurovea and Zuckermandel, Bratislava properties associated with the Slovak powerhouse J&T Real Estate offer an up-market coworking concept called 5 Star Offices, which has positioned itself as a luxury hotel for businesses. Eurovea offers over 60 offices, plus high-end services for members, while another 32 serviced offices can be found just up river at Zuckermandel.
But Bratislava is already covered in terms of serviced offices by the seemingly ubiquitous Regus, which already has four locations covering the city’s primary office locations – Europeum, Polus Towers, Bratislava City Centrum and Apollo. But 108 Agency’s Rudinsky points out that the company’s parent organization IWG is rolling out its new Spaces concept in the city as well in which just 30 percent of the space is common areas for hot desking while 70 percent is leased as short-term fixed offices to companies.