Horizon quickly expanding suburban coworking venture

Tim Schooley
Pittsburgh Business Times

After launching its first last year, Horizon Properties Group LLC is busy expanding and building the brand for its coworking venture, Loft Office Suites.

Mike Swisher, a partner with Horizon, said the company recently opened its latest Loft Office Suites location within a 10,000-square-foot retail space at the Street at the Meadows, the company’s retail-and-apartment development in front of the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County.

Horizon has other locations for Loft Office Suites teed up to total seven in the near future.

Originally launched under the name Zip Office at Southpointe last year, Horizon has a second Loft Office Suites in the works for another of its properties at Southpointe, along with a location that includes a conference center offering at a hotel development in Morgantown and at a property in Waynesburg, Greene County.

A Loft Office Suites is also in the works for a small shopping center Horizon has developed in Grove City, Swisher added.

While coworking has been all the rage by growing companies such as WeWork and Industrious expanding operations in urban cores, Swisher sees an underserved market for coworking in the suburbs, and he sees potential opportunity in leasing out vacant space in shopping centers at a time when space demand from retailers can be hard to predict due to the impact of internet shopping.

Swisher said Horizon is open to the prospect of taking Loft Office Suites to space owned by other landlords.

“It’s set up to be a branded, repeatable concept,” he said. “If we continue to see the progress we see, we would also do those in other centers.”

A key part of the business model for Loft Office Suites, explained Swisher, is by automating its service, it can grant members access through cell phone technology without the need for staff.