Call him the space man

Posted: April 5, 2017 at 5:05 am, Last Updated: April 4, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Ray Rahbar

Ray Rahbar

By Damian Cristodero

 

When Ray Rahbar opened MakeOffices in 2012, it had been eight years since his graduation from George Mason University with bachelor’s degrees in finance and accounting.

There was no gap in his relationship with his alma mater.

“When I look back at everybody who helped us get to where we are now, a lot of them I met at Mason or I connected with them because of Mason people,” he said. “To this day, I still rely on my Mason network.”

MakeOffices, based in Arlington, Va., and with 46 employees, services small- and mid-size businesses and startups that need office space but can be stymied by the high cost of rents and real estate.

The company provides coworker spaces that range from $75 a month for a mailing address and two hours of conference room time, to $600 a month for a private office.

MakeOffices leases and owns its locations, including four in Northern Virginia, three in Washington, D.C., and one in Maryland. It also has locations in Chicago and Philadelphia.

“When we opened our first location, it was 8,800 square feet,” Rahbar said. “We were sitting around one day and asked, ‘Man, are there enough startups to fill this space up?’ Our last location in Clarendon (Va.) is 44,000 square feet. We’re worried it’s too small.”

Make Offices opened after a year and a half of research that went into selecting the most appropriate commercial real estate, general contracting and pricing.

“Unlike a software company, we’re limited by the amount of real estate we have,” Rahbar said. “Sooner or later, a building is full, so we did have to think through the entire model, especially on the cost side.”

The business has been profitable since its second month, Rahbar said.

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Write to Melanie Balog at mbalog@gmu.edu

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