No18 to bring new co-working concept to the Shops at Buckhead Atlanta

Dive Brief:

Brookfield Residential-owned real estate firm OliverMcMillan on Tuesday announced that luxury co-working company No. 18 will set up its first U.S. location at the upscale open-air shopping center The Shops Buckhead Atlanta in the fall of 2018. 

No. 18, based in Stockholm and acquired last year by U.K. workspace firm IWG, will occupy nearly 32,000 square feet in the sprawling high-end mall, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.

Brookfield’s parent company, Brookfield Asset Management, earlier this year reportedly mulled a bid to take over IWG. 

Dive Insight:

As American malls lose traditional department store flagships and some specialty retail shops, the path forward is likely in reimagining them as “consumer engagement spaces” that cater to consumers “less interested in owning things than in having experiences and accessing functionalities,” according to a February report from global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. 

Workspace and retail, then, are poised to be mutually beneficial, considering the increasing availability of excess space left vacant by shuttering retail doors and the benefits, particularly traffic, that each could get from the other.

The partnership between No. 18 and The Shops Buckhead Atlanta in particular is a good fit because both offer environments on the higher end. No. 18 members have access to concierge-level services, fully equipped meeting rooms and a “luxe event area” to host meetings and gatherings, according to a press release.

Retail and workspace are tying up elsewhere too. The move follows the Hudson’s Bay sale last year of its Fifth Avenue Lord Taylor New York flagship to office space startup WeWork for $850 million. And in 2016, Staples and office-sharing company Workbar launched a partnership that took advantage of extra space in three Boston-area Staples locations.