The arrival of New York-based Serendipity Labs Inc. to the Dallas Arts District didn’t come as a result of chance, instead, it was carefully orchestrated — much like the shared office concept itself.
And, if you talk to Founder and CEO John Arenas, it would become quite clear that Serendipity Labs knows exactly who they are and what demographic the “upscale, hospitality-driven coworking concept” is targeting, with an eye on delivering on experience.
“Our concept is deeply rooted in hospitality that delivers an experience that happens to look like coworking,” Arenas told the Dallas Business Journal during a tour of the new 29,000-square-foot flagship location in Texas.
“We are doing it right versus just doing it,” he added. “We also have 25 years of experience in delivering what companies need and what grown-ups need in a work environment. It’s a sophisticated way of working.”
Arenas — with the help of the local franchisee Worth Coworking — opened the doors last week to the first Serendipity Labs concept in the Lone Star State, which sits on the 17th floor of KPMG Plaza in Hall Arts, with a 3,000-square-foot conferencing center and tenant lounge on the ground floor of the office tower.
The new Dallas hub will play a major role in a much bigger hub-and-spoke system for Serendipity Labs in North Texas, with additional locations expected to pop up in some of the region’s most sought-after suburbs.
Serendipity Labs could get a little help on the real estate search from Dallas developer Craig Hall, the developer of KPMG Plaza, who decided to invest an undisclosed sum in the expansion of the concept. Hall is the midst of finishing construction on a new building at the namesake Hall Park in Frisco and is planning a similar office park in Richardson.
At the time, Hall, chairman of Hall Group, told the DBJ, “We researched other companies as well in the area, but we think Serendipity really has a good formula.”
Hall isn’t the only landlord investing in the coworking movement. For Serendipity Labs, they’ve been flocking to the upscale shared-office concept.
“Instead of, ‘Here’s a space I can’t lease, how about you lease it and I’ll do a deal from you,’ from 10 years ago, they are coming to us saying, ‘We are building this project three years from now, can you help us program coworking into it,'” Arenas said.
“With a national network and a branded experience, they know what to expect if they have another branded project,” he added.
The new Dallas hub will likely be the largest location of Serendipity Labs in the region, with a network of spoke-like sites in surrounding suburbs totaling about 15,000 square feet of space.
Doug Denman, president of Worth Coworking, which is the development partner of Serendipity Labs in North Texas, said there’s enough pent-up demand in North Texas to justify up to eight locations.
“We see coworking being a huge thing blowing up, and Serendipity Labs is a winning brand in that industry,” Denman said, adding the company is getting close to announcing a second location of Serendipity Labs in the region.
Along with the entirety of the 17th floor, the downtown Dallas hub also includes about 3,000 square feet of conference center and member lounge space on the ground floor of KPMG Plaza next to the Hall Arts sculpture garden for members or outside parties to host events.
Serendipity Labs will also curate events, such as book signings or wine tastings, for its members. Each event will be intentional with a focus on promoting the community, such as featuring local artists on the walls in the coworking space, Arenas said.
“It’s more of an appreciation beyond space, but unlocking people’s potential and inspiring them,” he said. “We really want to be part of feeling proud of where you work.”