What will co-working look like in the future? This growing Miami company has an idea

MIAMI, May 29, 2020 /Miami Herald – The co-working offices of the future may scrap floating desks all together. A new shared workspace coming to Miami is saying “goodbye” to common work spaces, and “hello” to more cubicles after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Brickell-based private equity and management firm CGI Merchant Group, LLC (CGI) is expanding its co-working brand Nexus into Coral Gables, said Raoul Thomas, the firm’s founder and chief executive officer. The 8,000-square-foot space at 55 Miracle Mile will offer members 16 private office suites and 10 cubicles separated by partitions.

The space was scheduled to open in the summer of 2020 but will be delayed until the first quarter of 2021 as the company redesigns the space to eliminate floating desks and shared work spaces.

CGI Merchant Group has five other shared workspace locations, in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Bristol Park, Stuart and Wellington. Along with Coral Gables, it also expects to expand the Nexus brand to Fort Myers and Naples in the coming months.

“The configuration of all of our [existing] office space gives us an advantage,” Thomas said.

About 90% of the firm’s existing shared spaces are configured into private offices. Common work areas are being converted into cubicles, he said.

The firm bought 55 Miracle Mile for $21.49 million in 2014. A survey of its 5,000 members, many expressed interest in having a mailing address in the City Beautiful. Thomas also noted the influx of new residents from the northeast, the preference for close-to-home offices, and increasing popularity of shared spaces among corporations.

“We’re seeing companies in China sending their employees to co-working spaces instead of office towers. We expect the similar trend to happen here and we want to get ahead of the curve,” Thomas said.

Most Nexus members are small business owners, engineers, attorneys and accountants. All have retained their memberships, Thomas said, after CGI Merchant Group introduced a rent abatement plan that included an additional month in exchange for signing lease extensions.

Memberships vary depending on location, but the average starting fee is $300 per month for a 150-square-foot cubicle.

View the article as published in Miami Herald