Photo of Keith Casey at HubAustin, photo courtesy of HubAustin.

By all accounts, coworking is booming worldwide.
But that doesn’t mean all coworking spaces can make a go of it.
Year-old HubAustin plans to shut down on Sept. 30th.
“The frustrating thing is that we’re basically there,” Keith Casey, one of the co-founders, wrote in a post on HubAustin blog. “We finally figured out the marketing as evidenced by adding a new member/week and our email/call to tour to signup conversion rates getting higher every week.
Financially our numbers even work out.”
Coworking spaces like HubAustin have sprung up all over Austin and other cities as technology makes it easier for people to work from just about anywhere. The spaces provide workers with shared desks, conference rooms and other work areas. The popularity of coworking has skyrocketed in recent years with the number of coworking spaces doubling to 1,300 worldwide in 2011, according to Deskmag, which follows the industry. Deskmag projects coworking spaces to grow to 2,150 this year.
Most people run their coworking spaces as for profit businesses. Deskmag estimates a coworking space costs about $58,000 to startup in the U.S. And on average, 40 percent of all coworking spaces are profitable. And 72 percent become profitable after two years.
But HubAustin can’t hold on that long. The company must vacate its current space when its lease is up Oct. 1st and even though Casey found another space nearby, he couldn’t get affordable Internet access and the rent was higher. You can read the full post here.
HubAustin last weekend hosted Lean Startup Machine. The space has also hosted the Web Performance Summit, hackathons and Startup Weekend Austin and other events.
In the closing lines of his post, Casey sums up the experience of running a coworking site “all three of us have been part of many startups large and small. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes things seem to be lined up and something unexpected bites you. We’re frustrated but not broken.”
Austin has one of the most robust coworking markets in Texas. Link Coworking, Conjunctured, Cospace, Tech Ranch, Capital Factory and other sites offer coworking around town. In San Antonio, Geekdom provides coworking space for technology workers.
C4 Workspace, one of the first coworking sites in San Antonio, shut down last September because of some of the same issues faced by HubAustin. This week, HubAustin is having a sale to get rid of all of its furnishing including numerous chairs and desks.
CNN Producer Josh Rubin, who lives in Austin, recently did this report on coworking sites.