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Wall Street Journal / Biz - Money

Diller, Von Furstenberg Invest in Co-Working Company

New York City-based NeueHouse, a company that offers co-working space with a private club-style membership, has brought on Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg as majority investors.


By

Michael Rovner

New York City-based NeueHouse, a company that offers co-working space with a private club-style membership, has brought on Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg as majority investors.

The Diller Von Furstenberg family office in New York City and Great Eagle Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-based real-estate conglomerate, co-led a recent financing round in NeueHouse, said a spokesman for the companies. He declined to provide details.

Mr. Diller is a media mogul and his wife Ms. Von Furstenberg is a fashion designer whose eponymous label is sold in more than 55 countries

Co-working spaces offer businesses and freelancers an opportunity to rent desks and offices, and use shared amenities such as kitchens, copiers, printers and meeting rooms.

“Co-working started around 2007 and has matured and been embraced by the commercial real-estate industry to generate more revenue per square foot,” says David Walker, founding partner of OpenWork Agency, a workplace-strategy firm in Austin, Texas.

WeWork, the most well known co-working company, was founded in 2010 in New York City and claims 175,000 members worldwide. It has 200 brick-and-mortar locations in 20 countries, occupying more than 10 million square feet of space leased.

There were 3,205 co-working spaces in the U.S. in 2017 and a total of 11,790 co-working spaces around the world, according to a study published in this month by Emergent Research and the Global Coworking Unconference Conference.

The main floor of NeueHouse’s co-working space shown in 2013 in Manhattan.Photo: Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal

NeueHouse, which was established in New York City in 2013 by Joshua Abram and Alan Murray, rents a 50,000-square-foot flagship space at Park Avenue South and East 25th Street in Manhattan, and another 100,000-square-foot space in the historic CBS building on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

NeueHouse tries to lure an upscale clientele with cultural programming at its locations, featuring entertainment, business and literary personalties. Recent speakers include clothing-store executive Millard “Mickey” Drexler, website founder and editor Arianna Huffington, and former Chanel CEO Maureen Chiquet.

In New York City, NeueHouse claims 1,200 members who pay monthly fees between $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the amount of space the client rents. Clients include author Salman Rushdie  and actress Meg Ryan.  NeueHouse says it has another 1,200 members signed up in Los Angeles.

Along with membership fees, NeueHouse said it generates a significant portion of its revenue by hosting film screenings, premieres, and brand launches, with more than 500 events logged this year.

“There are very few spaces that are this big with indoor and outdoor components,” said Ryan Hill, chief executive officer, Apotheosis Events, an event-staging company who chose NeueHouse to host the Los Angeles premiere of the musical “Hamilton” in August for 1,500 people.

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