Serendipity Labs Targeting July Opening in Downtown Bethesda

The co-working space promises an upscale design catering to start-ups and established companies alike


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The Serendipity Labs co-working facility coming to downtown Bethesda is targeting a July opening, according to company CEO John Arenas.

Arenas, who grew up in Bethesda, said bringing the New York-based company to the 4500 East West Highway office building “is like coming home,” and Serendipity is exploring other Washington, D.C.-area locations.

Rendering of a co-working space at the Bethesda location of Serendipity Labs, via Serendipity Labs

“We’re not just dipping a toe into the D.C. metro market,” Arenas said in an interview earlier this month. Serendipity is undergoing a national expansion with more than 80 locations planned. The 19,000-square-foot space in Bethesda will be the company’s eighth.

The company offers full-time private offices, day passes for office space, special project space and conference rooms with capacity for up to 20 people. Office plans start at $199 a month.

In 2014, co-working company UberOffices (now MakeOffices) launched a 20,000-square-foot space with 50 offices in the Bethesda Crossing building on Wisconsin Avenue. While co-working spaces have become popular, especially for tech-based millennial-run start-ups, Arenas said Serendipity is unique in its mix of member companies.

It says 20 percent are start-ups, 40 percent are run by women and 45 percent are employees working remotely whose companies  have paid for memberships.

“We are intentionally creating a brand to have a broad, stable mix of members that also add to the diversity of the experience,” Arenas said. “When our start-up team in its 20s is rubbing shoulders with the kind of seasoned executives we have from multinational companies, that’s good for both. That gets them support and insight that doesn’t cost them anything.”

Renderings of the reception desk and work lounge area, via Serendipity Labs

Arenas said he expects a mix of government-dependent contractors, legal firms, marketing companies and e-commerce companies in the Bethesda location on the 4500 East-West Highway building’s second floor.

A reception desk and work lounge with a café will be positioned next to a staircase leading to the second-floor offices. Office spaces range in size and the facility will include conference rooms and access to the building’s rooftop patio.

The building, which developer Carr Properties finished in 2014, is a few blocks east of the Bethesda Metro station. Serendipity will join small business loan company Rapid Advance and education company Teaching Strategies LLC as tenants in the building.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has a deal with Carr to relocate its headquarters from 7272 Wisconsin Ave. to the building dependent on that building’s redevelopment.

Arenas said his company was attracted by the building’s LEED Platinum status as an environmentally friendly building, bicycle lockers, showers and close proximity to the Bethesda Metro station.

“What that means is the building supports a work style and lifestyle that fits our members,” Arenas said.

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