The kitchen and community area on one floor of the WeWork facility in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Jennewein
The kitchen and community area on one floor of the WeWork facility in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The co-working trend took a major step forward in San Diego Thursday when a WeWork facility occupying six floors in a downtown tower officially opened its doors.

Two floors of the building at 600 B Street are already occupied, and four more floors are planned for a total of 90,000 square feet supporting 1,700 workers.

Jon Slavet, general manger-west, said the New York-based company is now in 30 cities worldwide and is opening 10 new locations a month.

Jon Slavet (left) with Mayor Kevin Faulconer

“It’s a global brand — 80,000 members as of now,” he said. “San Diego joins that global network.”

As part of the local opening, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that the San Diego Venture Group will have a satellite office in the WeWork facility in San Francisco.

The new office will help San Diego startups tap the nearly $30 billion venture capital market in nearby Silicon Valley.

“For the first time, San Diego’s smartest startups will have an official headquarters in Silicon Valley so our local businesses can access Bay Area funding while still prospering and hiring right here,” Faulconer said.

Co-working allows self-employed individuals, small startups and corporate teams to work in spaces ranging from shared desks to small offices to office suites.

Downtown San Diego already has a number of smaller co-working facilities, including Downtown Works, The Vine and Desk Hub, but Slavet said WeWork is focused on the general market for office space.

“We compete with the broader real estate market,” he said, noting that 20 percent of Fortune 500 companies have employees working out of WeWork facilities.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.