New York is the epicenter of entertainment, fashion and, of course, business. And for the many new and seasoned entrepreneurs searching for a co-working space, Jay Suites offers a plethora of choices.
Founded in 2009 by brothers Juda and Jack Srour, the company now has 638 luxury office suites in nine locations across New York City. While the co-working space concept is now commonly understood, it was virtually unheard of when Jay Suites began. “When we started, I used to have to explain to someone over the phone what a co-working space is,” Juda, Co-Founder and CEO of Jay Suites, tells The CEO Magazine. “Today, you don’t need to do that.”
Jay Suites offers a range of private, luxury office suites, virtual offices, event spaces and meeting rooms for rent in some of New York’s best locations – from Times Square to Fifth Avenue to the Financial District. Its shared office spaces come with modern decor, unlimited wi-fi, VoIP phones, glass sliding doors and executive-style desks, not to mention luxury lounges, mail services and daily cleaning services.
Juda says the timing was perfect for Jay Suites. “We couldn’t have asked for a better time to start. Every year, we would add around 25–30% more office space to our portfolio and we just kept on growing. The market right now is at an all-time high and it’s just getting hotter. Everyone is trying to get into the co-working business these days.”
Jay Suites is on track to completing its largest location – a 12-storey, 90,000-square-foot building on 15 West 38th Street. The building was formerly owned by Hudson’s Bay Company-owned department stores, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The site will include seven floors of shared workspaces and fully furnished offices. It will also have new features including a cafe, conference center and rooftop terrace. The first two floors of the building will house the five soundproof conference rooms.
These will be equipped with large-screen TVs, Polycom conference phones and high-speed wi-fi, and will come with administrative and IT support. The cafe will have an espresso bar offering tea, coffee and pastries for members.
At the top will be the building’s pièce de résistance: the rooftop terrace overlooking the mesmerizing Manhattan skyline. It will be available for a variety of functions such as product launches, seminars or happy hours, accommodating 50 to 250 guests.
Jay Suites is also set to open another location at 515 Madison Avenue in the Plaza District, as well as its first location outside Manhattan, in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
• Grand Central (369 Lexington Ave)
• Fifth Avenue (2 West 46th St and 15 West 38th St)
• Penn Station (1370 Broadway)
• Financial District (30 Broad St)
• Times Square (1441 Broadway)
• 34th Street (31 W 34th St)
• Madison Avenue (315 Madison Ave and 515 Madison Ave)
To stay ahead of the increasing competition in the co-working sector, Jay Suites differentiates itself in three ways. “First, we’re priced much more aggressively than our competitors,” Juda says. “Second, we build all our spaces from scratch as opposed to having landlords undertake the build-outs. All the construction in the properties is done in-house, from the build-out to the wiring.
We pick out the furniture and regularly upgrade our older properties. We also install brand-new air-conditioning systems when we open a location.
Finally, all our offices have soundproofing, so once you close the door, you’re guaranteed not to hear your neighbor.”Jay Suites’ virtual office spaces (VOs) go one step further, allowing individuals greater freedom to work remotely. They provide more flexibility and are a cheaper alternative to leasing an office space full-time.
Jay Suites’ VOs provide mail-forwarding and call-answering services and offer members an impressive Manhattan address. Members also have the option of adding a Manhattan phone number to boost their credibility.
• Increases productivity
• Lowers stress and increases morale
• Improves efficiency
• Decreases real estate costs
• Can lead to more employee engagement through technology
• Reduces carbon footprints
• Caters to needs of the millennial workforce
• Can keep older workers in the workforce for longer
When it comes to hiring, all Jay Suites employees must have a background in hospitality; whether it’s for one year or five years. “We don’t hire anyone off the bat,” Juda comments. “We train them thoroughly first and then they go through a three-month probation period. If we see they’re not on par within that period, we let them go and look for someone better suited.”
Asked what the best piece of advice he has ever received is, Juda doesn’t hesitate to respond. “To seek advice from others,” he shares. “You don’t know everything; and it’s always good to get an opinion from someone else. God created everyone with different brains so it’s good to hear everyone out even if you may not agree with them.”
But when it comes to compromise, he admits, “I’m kind of stuck in my ways. I have a very good eye for things. If I realize I’m wrong then, obviously, I’ll compromise. But I know what I want and
I could tell you if something belongs here or a certain color or design belongs there.”