Last month, WeWork became the largest private office tenant in Manhattan and the company shows no signs of stopping there. Lately, the coworking giant has been on a leasing streak, while also developing its new medium-business solution, HQ by WeWork, and expanding its retail business, WeMRKT.
WeWork now occupies over 5.3 million square feet of Manhattan office space, surpassing JPMorgan Chase and becoming the borough’s biggest office tenant, according to a blog post by Granit Gjonbalaj, the firm’s Chief Development Officer. This milestone was reached after signing a 258,344-square-foot lease at 21 Penn Plaza, owned by long-time partner TH Real Estate. At the time of the announcement, WeWork counted over 50,000 New Yorkers as its members and had around 60 locations in the Big Apple, 50 of which were in Manhattan.
Since then, the company has inked several other leases in Manhattan, including:
- 75,000 square feet, five floors, in the Brill Building for the next 15 years;
- the entire 6,667-square-foot second floor at 8 West 25th Street;
- all 100,000 square feet of office space at Tumblr’s old headquarters, 35 East 21st Street;
- over 16,000 square feet at 130 Madison Avenue, in another 15-year lease;
- about 14,000 square feet on the second floor at 483 Broadway;
- five floors, 117,000 square feet of office space at 575 Lexington Avenue;
- and 138,563 square feet, the third through 13th floors, at SL Green Realty Corp’s 609 Fifth Avenue.
Most of these locations are meant to accommodate medium-sized businesses through HQ by WeWork. Launched in July, this new suite of services features in-house brokerage services, leasing and office management and is tailored to suit the needs of firms with 11 to 250 employees. Reportedly, HQ offices can go for 15 to 20 percent less than traditional WeWork coworking space, as tenants can choose to forgo some of the amenities. “To give you broader context around HQ by WeWork, we’ve signed 750,000 square feet in New York and are in negotiations for 2 million square feet in total,” Gjonbalaj told the Commercial Observer.
WeWork also intends to build up its retail business, WeMRKT. The first store of this kind was opened this summer at their 205 Hudson location. Now, the company plans to roll out 500 more during the following years, and even launch an e-commerce portal. “This retail store is becoming another destination for our community to gather, to talk about the things they love, and be part of different maker’s stories,” Julie Rice, WeWork partner and SoulCycle co-founder, told Digiday. “In a world where retail is dying, the way we’re going to revive it by creating things that are made from the heart, with love [and] with the consideration of the people who want to use them.” The stores carry brand apparel, office supplies, and snacks, as well as products created by select WeWork members.