Common Desk Enters its First Market Outside of Texas

This year, Common Desk launched its own app, raised its first round of funding, and expanded outside of Dallas-Fort Worth for the first time. Now, the coworking company is headed to Raleigh, the only out-of-state location.

Common Desk, the Dallas-based coworking company, is continuing its year of rapid expansion with the opening of a location in Raleigh, North Carolina—the company’s first outside of Texas. Earlier this year, it announced entering the Austin and Houston markets, the first two outside of North Texas. And, in August, Common Desk received its first round of funding after seven years as a successfully bootstrapped startup.

The North Carolina location will be in the East End Market development—which is starting construction in the next few weeks—that’s located near downtown and midtown Raleigh. Common Desk – East End Market will open in 28,423 square feet of a one-time railroad warehouse within the approximately 65,000 square feet of adaptive re-use space in the development.

“North Carolina is a state where southern hospitality is appreciated, and we expect our brand to strongly resonate here because of this,” said Nick Clark, founder and CEO of Common Desk, in a statement. “Raleigh is the perfect place for us to establish our brand first in North Carolina, because it’s a city that’s found the perfect balance of being just big enough to make waves and just small enough to be known. We see Raleigh as a chance to do something big and hopefully become a go-to coworking brand for professionals across North Carolina.”

Common Desk – East End Market will feature shared desk areas, an event space, a courtyard, shared kitchen, wellness room, and more. Designed to preserve the warehouse aesthetic, the space combines natural materials, warm finishes, and work from local Raleigh artists. It will be built in partnership with Workplace Hospitality Management, Common Desk’s regional development partner in the Carolinas.

Other partnership players include SLI Capital and Atlas Stark, which Daniel Doyon, managing principal of Workplace Hospitality Management, said are “ideal partners for Common Desk.” Together, he said, the envelope is going to be pushed on workplace hospitality in the Raleigh market.

“The Common Desk model is superior to many others in the space due to the elimination of mismatched asset and liability duration present with the traditional coworking lease structure. Common Desk operates more like a partner than a tenant and has embraced the East End Market brand,” said Bryan Kane, managing partner of SLI Capital. “The East End neighborhood is a cultured food, beverage, and lifestyle destination which will greatly benefit from the energy Common Desk provides.”

The Raleigh location won’t open until the fall of 2020, but Common Desk plans to begin pre-leasing, pre-opening events, and initial construction tours in the spring.

Common Desk – East End Market will go in Raleigh’s East End Market. [Rendering: Common Desk]

Common Desk’s big year

Common Desk calls itself “one of the earliest coworking brands to open in the state of Texas.” Although it opened in 2012, the many “firsts” over the course of 2019 comes from the rising need for experiential workplaces, even in the face of increased competition, according to a company blog post. But Common Desk caters to more than just coworking: It also recently expanded to include coffee, wellness, and technology.

The business now has a brick-and-mortar coffee outpost called “Fiction Coffee” and its own app to book rooms or order food and drinks. In September, the team also moved its headquarters from Deep Ellum to Granite Properties’ Factory Six03 in Dallas’ West End.

“When approaching a new market, we always choose to establish our brand from a neighborhood that’s cool, gritty, and alternative–one that resonates well with freelancers and creatives. East End Market is perfect for this, reminding us of our Deep Ellum, Dallas roots in Raleigh,” said Dawson Williams, head of Real Estate at Common Desk. “It’s rare to have a cool and creative mixed use district that is this conveniently located. East End Market feels like one of the most exciting new areas in the city, and we’re thrilled to be a part of what’s happening here.”

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