Real estate veterans G. Ryan Smith and Michael Zietsman have launched Ivy Offices, a flex space operator based in Santa Monica.

Ivy will partner with landlords to run flex space and tenant engagement services, such as amenities.


The company helps with the design and buildout of workspaces and will look to bring in tenants seeking flexible leases.


It also manages leases, billing, payment, tenant communication and amenities.
Ivy will largely operate through management contracts with landlords. It can handle single spaces or entire buildings.


For now, the company, which is in the process of negotiating millions of square feet of office space, is focused on Southern California.


Smith said Ivy’s flex spaces will ideally be a whole floor, which translates into roughly 20,000 square feet and above. Buildings using the company’s hospitality and technology platform will be 100,000 square feet or larger.


“We are here, and it’s a market that my team members and I know very well. It’s a model that will definitely take us across the country though,” Smith said.


He is hoping that the company will be engaged by institutional owners. And though Covid-19 has affected Ivy’s rollout, Smith thinks its offerings provide value at any time.


“We started to put the wheels in motion pre-Covid, and Covid has had the prolonged effect of delaying our engagement with the clients we’ve been talking to. While our business plan has been slightly delayed, I think the trends coming out of this will further the needs for our services,” he said.


Smith added that the company’s flex space offerings would be particularly desirable to tenants as they move away from long-term leases.


“The flexible space side of it has been accelerated with Covid, and the greater hospitality and technology engagement has been something I’ve seen as an opportunity to bring to office buildings for several years now,” he said.


Unlike coworking companies, Ivy will offer individual space to companies where they can create their own culture but still access building and Ivy amenities such as conference rooms.


In addition to being co-founders, Smith and Zietsman are managing members of Ivy.


Smith is the founder and president of George Urban Properties, a company that acquires office and mixed-use properties in Southern California. Before that, he was an executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.


Zietsman is the principal of the Zietsman Property Group. He was previously an international director at JLL.


Jennie Delakas, Ivy’s vice president of growth and integration, was the former senior business development manager for WeWork Cos. Inc. in L.A.


“Ivy is the culmination of a lot of our experiences, and what we’ve sought out to deliver is a platform that combines technology and hospitality,” Smith said.


Ivy is hoping to sign agreements for five to 10 properties this year and be engaged in 10 million square feet by the end of 2021.

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