Downtown Dallas’ latest coworking center looks more like the boardroom than the dorm room.
While some of the new shared-office spaces have an industrial look and feature frat boy favs like pool tables and dartboards, Serendipity Labs’ new project in the Arts District is sleek and corporate.
“We really are aiming with the brand to be upscale,” said John Arenas, founder and CEO of Serendipity Labs. “We want our customers to feel valued and comfortable.
“About 40 percent of our members are women and about half are established companies,” he said. “It’s a little off putting to them if all of a sudden there is a ping pong match going on in their office.”
Serendipity Labs has just opened its first North Texas location in the KPMG Plaza building on Ross Avenue. The New York-based firm has about 29,000 square feet of space in the lobby and on the 17th floor of the high-rise.
The ground floor area has a lounge and coffee bar plus a flexible gathering space.
“We wanted to have a retail presence and show our brand,” Arenas said. “You can use it for an off-site meeting or an event.
“We see it as our flagship and we want to land here the right way.”
Up in the 17th floor main shared office center there’s also plenty of open space and gathering areas for workers who can rent anything from a single desk to an office suite.
While some coworking centers are almost like a maze with dark narrow corridors, Serendipity Labs new Dallas location is bright and airy.
Several large collaborative office and lounge areas have postcard views of the skyline and the Arts District.
“In a lot of these facilities the best views are reserved for the offices,” Arenas said. “We’ve tried to bring that experience to all our members.
“The finishes and the width of the hallways are very generous,” he said. “You can trust brining your clients here.”
Serendipity Labs now has 10 locations open around the country. A total of eight are planned for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
We have well over a hundred to be developed around the country.
“We have another 17 locations we are in the midst of designing, building and opening right now,” Arenas said. “We have well over a hundred to be developed around the country.”
Serendipity Labs is backed by investors including Steelcase, Teknion and KPMG Plaza owner Hall Group.
The company has attracted more than $125 million of capital for development.
“We hope to have an announcement in the next few weeks on another location in the Dallas area,” Arenas said.
The coworking company runs its business based on a hospitality model, not just real estate.
“Coworking is really just a way of providing flexibility, and service and hospitality,” Arenas said. “This is how we do it.
“Our general manager at this location was a manager at the Waldorf in New York,” he said. “That should tell you something.”
Serendipity Labs is one of a handful of shared office companies growing their operations in North Texas, including WeWork, Industrious and Common Desk.