New real estate-focused coworking company buys Houston building for first location

A new coworking company closed on its first round of funding and plans to open its first location in Houston.

Rethink — the company style for which is REth!nk — announced July 11 it closed on an $8 million funding round and acquired sites in Houston and Denver for its first locations. Both locations are expected to open in spring 2019, and the company’s coworking members will consist of real estate professionals, per the press release.

The Houston location is at 1512 Center St., just north of downtown. It was the former home of Master Mattress Works. The deal closed on July 2, Ken Cope, founder and president of Rethink, told the Houston Business Journal. Carlisle “Carli” Bakondy with Core Group in Houston represented Rethink, while Bill Garcia of Houston’s Carlos Garcia Realty represented the seller.

Master Mattress, which had been in business for more than 40 years, has closed and donated its remaining furniture inventory to the Houston Furniture Bank, Garcia told HBJ.

Cope declined to disclose the purchase price, but the property’s asking price was listed as $3.95 million on Carlos Garcia Realty’s website. It was appraised at $1.77 million in 2017, but its 2018 appraisal is listed as pending, according to Harris County Appraisal District records.

The 1.3-acre property currently houses a 33,734-square-foot building, about two-thirds of which was built in 1927 with the rest built in 1976, per the HCAD records.

After Rethink renovates the building, there will be 36,886 square feet plus an additional 4,972 square feet of interior mezzanine-level space and a 6,337-square-foot rooftop deck, Cope said. The company has selected Corgan, which has an office in Houston, as the architect for the project. A general contractor will be selected within the next few weeks, Cope said.

Within the Houston location, amenities will includes a large cafe/coffee bar; training, meeting and event spaces; and a rooftop deck with downtown views. There will be private offices that can accommodate one to 30 people, some of which will have private conference rooms, Cope said. The offices will provide flexibility for companies to grow within the space, he noted. There also will be dedicated desks in open space, and soft seating areas for coworking members.

“We offer a ‘one stop shop’ for all office needs, meaning you can literally drop by our location one day and have your business up and running the next day,” Cope said via email. “As important as the space itself will be the networking and educational opportunities that the REth!nk platform provides. Our goal is to offer a full service solution that offers anyone related to the real estate industry to leverage the services offered at REth!nk to accelerate the growth of their business.”

Rethink plans to attract members from the real estate industry, such as asset owners, investors, developers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, lawyers, bankers and brokers, per the release. The Houston location is expected to have 500 to 600 tenants/members, depending on configuration of the space, Cope said. Prices charged will depend on the type of membership and size of space for each member, but they “will be competitive with other shared office providers in the Houston market,” Cope said.

Seven employees will be based at the Houston location, which also will be supported by local corporate employees of Houston-based Redevelopment Capital Partners, a partial owner of Rethink.

“Our interest in Houston was first spurred by REth!nk’s relationship with Houston-based Redevelopment Capital Partners,” Cope said via email. “That said, the Houston market is one that is starting to see huge demand for the advantages offered by this type of space in terms of flexibility, networking and cost savings. We believe Houston’s real estate community deserves a space that can better meet their office needs.”

The company’s second location will be at 3950 Wynkoop, in the RiNo Arts District in Denver, and it eventually plans to have more than 28 locations nationwide in the next five years.