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Fort Worth coffee, coworking space provider makes acquisition, plans multifamily expansion

Fort Worth-based coffee and coworking space provider Craftwork Coffee Co. announced today the acquisition of Houston-based WorkFlourish, along with an expansion strategy focused on multifamily residential developments.

The move that will merge the two Texas coworking brands and set Craftwork up for statewide growth as a “Space as a Service” provider for the apartment industry. The acquisition and announcement come at the final stages of closing in their first round of series A funding totaling $3 million for Craftwork.

The expansion will pave the way for an innovative expansion plan centered on the infusion of their coffee and coworking environment into urban residential spaces.

Craftwork Coffee Co. launched its hybrid brand of coffee shop and coworking venture in 2016 to provide a space that met the needs of the new generation of entrepreneurs and independent workers in Fort Worth. Now, with the help and expertise of their new President and Chief Marketing Officer Trevor Hightower, formerly CBRE Managing Director and WorkFlourish founder, the company plans to build upon WorkFlourish’s successful model as one of the only businesses nationally to operate coworking in a multifamily buildings, and expand their vision throughout the state.

“We started Craftwork to be a place that brings people out of isolation and into true community,” said CEO Riley Kiltz. “We believe people thrive when they’re together. Our generation has become interpersonally disconnected, and our mission is to change that. The acquisition of Workflourish and launch of our multifamily strategy gives us a platform through which we can accomplish our missional goal.”

The next phase of growth for the company will expand the brand’s offerings to not just provide a space for members and customers, but to develop a symbiotic relationship between commercial real estate developers, their residents, and the thriving, growing business community that Craftwork Coffee currently serves, according to a company news release. Austin will be the first project designed in the context of a multifamily development with Streetlights Residential on Domain Drive set to open in spring of 2019.

“What started with a vision to create an intentional experience for users of work and live space is now transforming into a platform that can be used to drive significant value in multifamily developments.” said Kiltz. “Apartment developers are building larger and more expensive amenity areas to attract residents, but far too often these spaces go underutilized and fail to create the sense of community that we desire. The buying behavior of the millennial target market is shifting, and developers need to evolve in order to bring meaningful value the next generation.”

Hightower’s experience in developing the WorkFlourish brand as one of the only coworking companies operating in multifamily buildings paired with his passion to heighten experiences for residents and the freelancing community will strengthen and serve Craftwork Coffee Co.’s future plans.

“I could not be more thrilled to become part of Craftwork. Riley and I were aligned from the start on our mission to bring people out of isolation into community,” said Hightower. “We saw so many opportunities and synergies in our models and experience that it became apparent quickly that we were better together. Our vision to become the leading space as a service provider for multifamily and mixed use became bigger and more real together. This is a great moment for everything we set out to create with Workflourish.”

“The dramatic shifts in technology, mobility, and live/work demand have had many benefits for our society, but at the same time we are very concerned with how these changes are increasingly isolating and disconnecting people,” said Hightower. “Creating a higher vision of connection and community through our coffee and coworking at the epicenter of where so many disconnected people are living is exciting for us. Our team is deeply driven by this mission and is inspired to scale for this reason”

Workflourish is one of a small number of companies who operate coworking in multifamily buildings. At its location in Houston, Workflourish converted apartment amenity space into activated coworking space.

Workflourish will take the name Craftwork with new locations to be announced in Houston, Austin and the DFW area. Projected growth includes 15 new locations within the company’s key target markets including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Houston by 2021

Direct benefits to the coworking members will now expand to include resident perks, such as gym access, parking, community spaces, pool access, and other amenities, according to a Craftwork news release.

For property developers, the net operating income grossed from leased space can replace traditional ground floor areas with a tenant amenity perk of coffee shop and workspace, according to Craftwork officials.

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