Serendipity Labs plans a major expansion of its shared workspace center in the city’s South End by the end of this year to meet growing demand, the firm’s chief executive told Hearst Connecticut Media on Friday.
Opened in September, the Serendipity hub now covers about 13,000 square feet on the ground floor at 700 Canal St. The expansion would add about 9,000 square feet on the same level, bringing the total footprint to about 22,000 square feet. With the extra space, Serendipity would occupy the entire first floor.
By growing, Serendipity would have room to increase its membership from approximately 160 to about 300. All of the complex’s existing “dedicated workspaces” of private offices and team rooms are sold and occupied, with a waiting list in place, according to founder and CEO John Arenas.
“We’ve beaten our plan to get membership where it needs to be, and we thought it really made sense for us to expand,” Arenas said in an interview. “I think our decision was built on the strength of our membership, with members coming from a cross-section of industries and company stages and sizes. We’re very confident that the growth will continue.”
The Canal Street complex represents the sixth location in Serendipity’s growing national network. Industries represented in the Stamford contingent include financial services, technology, health care and consumer goods.
Arenas said he expects about 15 of the firm’s shared workspaces to be up and running by the end of this year.
Serendipity’s workspaces use a membership-based system that offers a range of options. Members can stop by for part of the day or a full day, with lounges, lab-cafes, pod workstations and quiet rooms at their disposal. Or they can establish a longer-term presence by booking private offices for several months or one year, while also using the common spaces in the complex.
“It’s fresh and new, in a great location,” Peter Neumann, who works in private equity, said in an interview shortly after the opening last year. “It presents very well. The staff is very accommodating.”
The Serendipity centers also host public and private events, including meetings for technology groups and business associations, art receptions and philanthropic gatherings.
Serendipity Labs is coincidentally located yards away from another shared-working complex, Comradity, at 845 Canal St. Arenas said he does not see Comradity as a direct competitor because he said there is enough room in the market for several firms offering shared working environments.
Another major co-working center, Workpoint, operates in the Shippan Landing complex on Harbor Drive.
“I can’t speak to the success of other co-working options in Stamford, but I think what our success says is that an upscale brand of co-working that serves enterprise standards for the workplace is underserved in the market,” Arenas said.
Serendipity Labs operates as a tenant at 700 Canal St., but the property’s ownership has invested in the co-working space in their own building.
“It’s very walkable where we are, and it’s great to have the shuttle to take us to and from the train station,” Arenas said. “We feel very connected to the rest of the city at 700 Canal St.”