Business News

Published on July 8th, 2015 |


WeWork negotiating with 2 Buckhead buildings for loft office space

WeWork, a New York-based provider of loft office space, is bringing its co-working concept to Atlanta and is in negotiations with two Buckhead properties: Tower Walk, the retail part of the Tower Place development, and 10-story Live Oak Square next to Lenox Square mall, the Atlanta Business Chronicle is reporting.

An example of the loft-style office spaces of WeWork.

An example of the loft-style office spaces of WeWork.

WeWork, which was recently valued at $10 billion, is focused more on existing office space because it wants to expand relatively quickly in Atlanta, according to commercial real estate developers familiar with the company. It is also seeking additional locations in Midtown.

WeWork started in New York five years ago and evolved from an earlier co-working concept called Green Desk, a startup founded by entrepreneur Adam Neumann and architect Miguel McKelvey. The idea: subletting office space to entrepreneurs during the economic recovery.

Today, WeWork has roughly 23,000 customers — many young creatives including entrepreneurs, freelancers and contractors who sublet the space in cities such as Austin, London, and its largest market, New York.

According to the Business Chronicle, WeWork has been challenging for some Atlanta landlords, in part because it asks building owners to fund often expensive tenant improvement allowances — sometimes up to $100 a foot — for build-out of the loft office space.

One example of that type of space is Atlanta Tech Village, formerly a plain mid-rise Buckhead office building that entrepreneur David Cummings and the architect Gensler transformed into a hub for the next wave of tech companies.

WeWork co-founder McKelvey was quoted in Bloomberg earlier this year as saying: “We all know sitting in this room the world has changed completely. All these buildings that we look at, towers which are full of these soul-crushing acoustic ceilings, and crappy gray carpets, and draining environments with fluorescent lights …no one wants to work that way anymore. … It has nothing to with the economy. It has nothing to do with anything other than humanity.”

(For the full Business Chronicle story, click here.)

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