It’s been said that in Florida, summer lasts six months, twice a year.
But it’s not just the allure of consistently warm weather that has companies uprooting left-and-right and flocking to the sunshine state.
Florida promises companies a fresh start, with affordable real estate and lower taxes, which has flexible workspace providers across the state buzzing.
With mass relocation, the demand for office space will likely increase as many companies explore new solutions around their real estate footprint – something that coworking providers are no stranger to providing.
Poised to meet this Floridian office boom is Crown Center Executive Suites, a budding, independent provider located in Fort Lauderdale.
Crown Center provides its clients with short and long-term workspace solutions while boasting tremendous flexibility with one of its marquee products, meeting rooms, which is also likely to see tremendous growth post-pandemic.
“We are in our own little world here, we’re an independent center,” explained Cindy Barr, Executive Director of Crown Center.
“Our floor is 33,000 SF so we are a pretty good size for an independent center, and we’ve been doing business as a full-service flexible space provider since 2012,” she added.
As an independent center, Crown Center aims to put a greater emphasis on a high level of concierge service within its product offerings, specifically its meeting spaces.”
“We have eight fully equipped meeting rooms, three of which are day offices, and we offer competitive pricing,” said Cindy.
“We allow folks to use our meeting rooms who have no other relation to us. They don’t have to have a virtual office or a full-time office. We rent by the hour, by the half day or by the day.
“Our meeting rooms hold [anywhere from] two people to 50 people and each one is different in terms of the technology that’s included,” she added.
But with increasing competition around the provision of shared workspaces in Florida, it’s imperative that providers like Crown Center set themselves apart from the competition.
“One of the things that sets us apart is that we do allow people to use our meeting rooms 24/7,” explained Cindy,
“There aren’t that many folks down here that allow meetings on Saturdays, Sundays, and evenings,” she added.
Additionally, Crown Center boasts a larger training room, which is uncommon for shared space providers to possess in the Fort Lauderdale area.
“[Our training room] is a large space that can hold [anywhere] from 30 to 45 people in a training configuration,” said Cindy.
“Of course, we can make it theater style, we can make it board room style, and it was upgraded a few years ago so the technology is excellent.”
“We cover the gauntlet from corporate workshops and seminars, quarterly and monthly boardroom meetings, to church on Sunday,” she added.
With a history that spans just under 10 years, Crown Center has already existed through major changes and shifts in work culture and the ever-evolving office environment.
Through strategic renovations and additions, the independent provider has continually met these changes head on.
“[In the last 10 years] we have renovated several of [our meeting spaces] to upgrade the technology and to beautify the space,” explained Cindy.
“We have created additional day offices … and have expanded their use to Saturdays and Sundays, which used to be much more limited.”
“Over time, we’ve diversified [our clients’] choices in terms of the space type and technology,” she added.
Regardless of Crown Center’s commitment to flexibility within its meeting room product offering, in-person meetings were far from the ‘status-quo’ during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
But with precautions lifted and with clients feeling a greater sense of comfortability back in the office, there has been a new excitement and buzz around meeting in person again.
“We are seeing people come back [to meeting rooms],” said Cindy. “I think people just can’t handle [virtual meetings] anymore. People have been missing that face-to-face interaction.”
“For years and years and years, people have created relationships by being face to face and it’s just not the same. People are happy to be back,” she added.
Building on this recent momentum around in-person meetings, PON recently announced the upcoming launch of a new Meeting Room & Workspace Booking Platform, that will be exclusive for PON members.
Planning to have their spaces listed on the platform, Crown Center was excited to increase their visibility around their top-of-the-line meeting spaces in the Fort Lauderdale area.
“We get excited about being able to put current images that are displayed in a nice way and are user friendly that explain the amenities that come with the rooms,” explained Cindy.
“We like full transparency and something like that where people can see what they’re walking into is tremendously helpful to us. There’s a lot of competition out there, so the more visibility the better,” she added.
As Florida and Fort Lauderdale in particular move back towards perceived normality, Crown Center has identified several emerging trends that will inform business decisions in the months and years ahead.
“We get a lot of folks that are looking for small, budget friendly spaces and they don’t necessarily want to be in a coworking environment, but they can’t be in their house,” said Cindy.
“Or it’s a branch of a company that’s based in somewhere like Miami and they want [a satellite office] in the Fort. Lauderdale area,” she added.
As a direct result of the pandemic, Crown Center has seen an increased number of independent professionals who are looking to try something new and start their own business.
From those who may have lost their job during the pandemic to even those who are looking for a new career path, Crown Center is aiming to provide flexible space to accommodate these hardworking individuals.
“We’re now seeing a lot of people doing things that they haven’t before like starting smaller side companies … [so] we took some of our larger spaces and we reconfigured and created a lot of small offices, under 100 SF,” explained Cindy.
“[These] offices … are priced so that almost anyone can afford them, and we offer them on a month-to-month basis. We’ve seen a lot of new companies, a lot of new virtual agreements,” she added.
With this new, emerging trend in mind, Cindy described Crown Center as, “… an ideal place for folks who are just getting started.”
“We have a place for them to hang up their shingle – month to month, small office, a professional atmosphere, a place to have meetings,” she added.
Even with the numerous changes the coworking industry has seen in the last year and a half, it’s clear that flexibility will remain as one of the most valuable assets within a product offering – which Cindy and Crown Center are ready for.
Crown Center, “… can turn on a dime. We allow our clients to upsize and downsize for no additional charge, so we are here for flexibility,” said Cindy.
“We believe there’s going to be quite a bit of fluidity in the way people work in the next year.”
“I think people are still going to be trying things out, be that enterprise or individuals, and we see ourselves poised for success,” she added.
Click here to begin the process of having your spaces listed on the new member-exclusive meeting room and workspace booking platform.