Space race

Houston trails behind Dallas when it comes to coworking office growth

When it comes to coworking space growth, Dallas has the edge on both Houston and Austin. Getty Images

Houston's coworking space growth pales in comparison to that of Dallas, a new study finds.

A survey by commercial real estate company Colliers International finds that among 19 major markets in the U.S., DFW is No. 1 for coworking growth while Houston is No. 15.

In DFW, the amount of coworking space in downtown markets and core submarkets soared 250 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016 to mid-2018, winding up at nearly 370,000 square feet (roughly equivalent to the size of two Walmart supercenters). That figure excludes suburban markets. DFW's coworking expansion dwarfs that of Houston, which ranks 15th (27 percent increase, landing at just over 706,000 square feet), and even Austin's, which ranks 14th in the Colliers survey (30 percent increase, landing at almost 300,000 square feet in mid-2018).

While Houston might not have had much recorded growth over the past 2.5 years, the city expects to see some major projects deliver during the next 2.5 years. The Cannon's 120,000-square-foot space is expected to open in May of this year, while Rice University's The Ion that will be 270,000 square feet in Midtown will finish up at then end of 2020.

Stephen Newbold, national director of office research at Colliers, says tech companies are the dominant tenants in coworking spaces, which helps explain why coworking represented 3.4 percent of all office inventory in the tech-heavy Austin market in mid-2018, compared with 0.9 percent in DFW and 0.6 percent in Houston. Austin's coworking share also outpaced that of Seattle (2.6 percent) and San Francisco (2.3 percent).

Newbold points out that DFW's and Houston's shares of coworking space are lower than Austin's because they rely more on a traditional base of tenants consisting of financial services firms, professional firms, and major corporations.

Colliers notes that coworking made up just 1.6 percent of all office space in the U.S. in mid-2018, or 27.2 million square feet. However, JLL says coworking represented nearly two-thirds of the occupancy gains in the U.S. office market in 2018, and it predicts coworking will constitute about one-third of the office market by 2030.

"Our research, and our conversations with corporate executives across the globe, indicate that flexible work is not just a passing trend — it's woven into the fabric of the future of work," Scott Homa, senior vice president and director of U.S. office research at JLL, says in a release. "Even though some markets are better positioned for rapid growth, this still leaves significant runway for expansion across all U.S. office markets."

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This story originally ran on CultureMap.

Technology is changing America's pastime, and the Houston Astros have the lead off. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Over the past decade or so, sports franchises have seen a boom in technology integration. The fact of the matter is that both the teams and the players need to tap into tech to have a competitive advantage on the field — and especially when it comes to the business side of things.

"Technologically advanced companies want to do business with technologically advanced companies," says Matt Brand, senior vice president of corporate partnerships and special events at the Houston Astros. "Old cats like me need to realize you have to stay current or else you're just going to get passed up."

Brand was the subject of a live recording of HXTV — the video arm of Houston Exponential — at The Cannon. He addressed several trends in sports technology, and shared how the Astros are approaching each new hot technology.

The Astros are pretty ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, Brand says, and the trick is keeping a pulse on potential game-changing technology far in advance of implementation.

"The things that we're developing now in 2019 and 2020 are the thing that are going to help us in 2024 and 2025," Brand says.

The approach to technology in sports is changing as younger players enter the scene.

"This generation of players want all the technology they can get," Brand says. "They want what's going on up to the day."

From esports to sports betting sites, here's what the hometeam has on its radar, according to brand.

The evolution of pitching technology

One aspect of the game that's been greatly affected by technology is pitching. Brand says that pitching coach, Brent Strom, is better able to do his job nowadays that there's better quality video and monitoring technologies. Brand cited the transformations of former pitcher Charlie Morton and current pitcher Ryan Pressly. Both saw impressive transformations in their pitching ability thanks to Strom and his technology.

"Brent has the ability to take technology and blend it with the craft," Brand says.

The players as industrial machines

One way the franchise thinks about its players is as machines — in the least objectifying way, surely. But Brand compares baseball players to major, expensive oil and gas machines, and in heavy industry, it's very common for a company to drop $30 million or more on a machine. Of course the company would schedule preventative maintenance and service appointments to protect their investments.

"We've got players now who are high performance machines," Brand says, citing players like Justin Verlander. "We want to make sure we have the best technology and the best care around them."

From doctors and nutritionists to the latest and greatest technologies, implementing the best practices is a good way to protect your assets.

Wearables and sleep technology

Another trend within sports is tracking sleep using technology. Wearable devices to track sleep and health are widely used, says Brand, but the Astros weren't comfortable with the constant monitoring.

"They feel like it's an invasion of privacy," Brand says. They feel like the data would be used against them when it came time to negotiate their contracts.

But prioritizing sleep is crucial in a sport where players travel across the country playing 162 games a season. Brand says investing in the players' sleep equipment is something they make sure to do.

Esports

Brand says, somewhat controversial, that esports is pretty low on the franchise's priority list, and there's one reason for that: Money.

"A lot of these sports teams aren't profitable right now," Brand says, noting that he knows that will probably change over the years.

While the teams themselves might not be making money, the number of users of video games makes for a different avenue to revenue.

"The platforms are what we see as profitable," Brand says, explaining how he's seen brands like Nike advertise in gaming apps.

"There's definitely a pathway to profitability, but esports means different things to different people," he says.

Sports marketing and betting

Looking toward the future, Brand says he sees movement coming in marketing and betting within sports.

With mobile devices in the hands of most sports event goers, brands have access to authentic, engaging content.

"Everyone with a phone is a producer of content, and a lot of brands want that content," he says.

Sports betting technologies have seen profitable success in other United States markets that allow it.

"Betting is the next biggest thing in sports," Brand says. "All the major leagues are saddled up with big money there. In Texas, it's illegal still, but it's coming."