the – Alexandra ZILBERMANN – Economy
A. Zilbermann – Xavier Thomas and Ludovic Clrier joined Matthieu Sorin (right) in 2019 to accelerate the development of Hiptown.
Created in 2018, Hiptown already has three office buildings under management and will have six more in 2021. Matthieu Sorin, founder of the company currently located in Paris and Marseille, tells us more about the positioning original of its activity, between coworking and profitability of vacant offices.
By creating Hiptown two years ago, Matthieu Sorin did not imagine that the health crisis would offer his activity a real opportunity . The reason ? Firms with large premises are thinking about the sustainability of work. They will therefore end up with unexploited areas. This is where the good idea of Hiptown lies, since it offers companies in particular better anticipate their needs according to their growth or their HR policy, explains its founder. Hiptown builds, markets and manages these excess areas on behalf of the user. Since its creation, three sites have been operational, including two in Marseille, rue Negresko and rue de la Rpublique, i.e. 1,400 m2 under management between Paris and Marseille.
The Hiptown office offering is based on four axes: flexible offices, with a service contract and shared space, catering at the foot of buildings open to all or internally, reception management and concierge services. Sole operator of a site, of which it is lessee , Hiptown takes care of everything and relieves the landowner of space management. A win-win model, according to the established formula, which appeals to a clientele whose business it is not to make its offices profitable.
If coworking occupies a prominent place in the office real estate sector, what is new here is to offer a company that owns its own walls to make its spaces profitable, by signing leases with other companies. A model that already exists but which, with Hiptown, is becoming more professional.
The openings come
In 2019, Matthieu Sorin joined forces with Ludovic Clrier and Xavier Thomas, two professionals he met during his previous activity at Bouygues Immobilier, a company where he initiated the concept of Nextdoor / Wojo coworking.
We share a common vision, the need to fight against obsolescence in commercial property, and are convinced that use defines a building and not the other way around.
Within Hiptown, Matthieu Sorin is in charge of all corporate matters (financing, budget, legal issues) Ludovic Clrier manages digital, sales and marketing and, finally, Xavier Thomas is in charge of development. Currently, the company has seven employees, but at the end of 2021 the staff should be around 20 people. With a forecast turnover of 2.5 million for 2021, the three leaders are counting on rapid growth, thus reinforced by the current context.
In terms of development, if Hiptown initially aimed to establish itself in a dozen French towns, experience on the ground made it rethink its prospects. We realized that it was much easier to recover premises to manage in a city where we were already established. This is the case in Marseille since we are going to open three new sites there by next spring. We will be Lyon, Lille and Bordeaux next year and Rennes in 2022. To see over the next two years whether the crisis we are going through will have fundamentally changed our working habits, a possibility that should further boost the development of Hiptown.