WeWork

Midtown East, real estate trends

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

The biggest news to surface in the turbulent waters of the WeWork saga may be the multibillion-dollar bailout and takeover by Japanese company SoftBank following a failed IPO and a company valuation that skidded from a reported $48 billion to $8 billion in a matter of months. And as part of a scramble for cash, the office space sublease and coworking disruptor has been expected to divest of the Lord & Taylor building at 424 Fifth Avenue; WeWork purchased the high-profile property–the former home of the department store’s flagship location–with partners Rhone Capital and Hudson’s Bay for $850 million earlier this year. But, as Crain’s reports, the company may be trying to lease the 660,000-square-foot property to high-paying office tenants as a way to raise the needed funds.

Will the building be back on the market soon?

Chelsea, Policy, Starchitecture

wework, wegrow, bjarke ingels, chelsea

Photo by Laurian Ghinitoiu courtesy of WeWork

Following a failed IPO and an impending takeover by Japanese parent company SoftBank amid an exodus of investors, office space sublease and coworking brand leader WeWork informed parents that the 2019-2020 school year would be the last for the newly-launched Manhattan elementary school, HuffPost reports. Rebekah Neumann, the co-founder of the company and wife of its recently-ousted CEO, Adam Neumann (and first cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow), had helmed the educational program for children ages three to nine, titled WeGrow, with a focus on education through play and interaction. The small New York City private school opened in 2018 with a tuition bill of between $22,000 and $42,000 a year. On the curriculum were yoga, dance and martial arts and weekly trips to an upstate farm to learn how to plant and harvest crops–in addition to fundamental courses, all with a heavy emphasis on creative expression and immersion in nature.

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Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

Earlier this week reports circulated that Amazon might be eyeing Industry City for new office space in Brooklyn, but the company’s search isn’t limited to one borough. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amazon is searching throughout New York City for a space large enough to accommodate its growing workforce and is in talks with WeWork to lease space in the historic Lord & Taylor flagship store, which WeWork bought earlier this year. Spokespeople for both companies declined to comment, but sources say Amazon is considering leasing a part of the building or the entire 12 stories. The Journal also noted that Amazon is looking into other locations, including the Farley Post Office across from Penn Station.

More details

Chelsea, Technology

food labs, wework, the we company, food

A rendering of the WeWork Food Labs space. Image courtesy of WeWork.

Coworking, office space leasing (and everything else) company WeWork has launched its second “innovation lab.” WeWork Food Labs intends to nurture early-stage startups focused on the future of food. Food Labs will offer dedicated space, community, and programming to entrepreneurs who are tackling challenges in food-related industries from hospitality, consumer goods and kitchen appliances to supply chain management, agricultural technology, distribution software, robotics and more, all of which are apparently very much in need of innovation. A flagship New York City location will open in late 2019 at 511 West 25th Street adjacent to the High Line in West Chelsea.

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City Living, Flatiron

Made By We, We Work, The We Company

Images courtesy of The We Company; Photography by Dave Burk.

Recently re-branded as the We Company, the juggernaut formerly known as WeWork has introduced Made By We, an “on-demand workspace,” event space, retail shop and cafe at 902 Broadway in the Flatiron district. Manhattan’s largest private office tenant adds the new retail and no-membership-required co-working concept to a growing list of conquests that includes the landmarked Lord & Taylor building which they’ve tapped starchitect Bjarke Ingels to restore and co-living (WeLive) and childhood education (WeGrow) ventures as well as their better-known co-working brand.

More We this way

Design, Midtown, Starchitecture

As 6sqft reported earlier this month, Bjarke Ingels’ restoration of the landmarked Lord & Taylor building won’t alter the design of the original structure all that much. But one major update the Bjarke Ingels Group will bring to the 104-year Fifth Avenue department store includes a new roof terrace with multi-use areas and a glassy courtyard. The firm’s proposal, set to be presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday, reveals a new rendering of the rooftop as well as plans to change the iconic store’s signage.

Design updates here

Design, Midtown, Starchitecture

Via Bjarke Ingels Group

The first set of renderings of Bjarke Ingels’ restoration of the landmarked Lord & Taylor building was released last month and it appears the starchitect’s firm will not sway too far from the original structure’s design. WeWork hired BIG last year to preserve the 104-year-old store, which will become the co-working company’s new global headquarters. In its presentation on Oct. 30 to Manhattan’s Community Board 5, the firm explained its plan to reconfigure the ground-floor, install canopies, replace signage, and more, as first reported by the Associated Press.

See the design

Midtown

Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor

At the beginning of next year, Lord & Taylor will close its Fifth Avenue flagship after a 104-year run. Owner Hudson’s Bay Co. sold the 676,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance building to WeWork for $850 million a year ago in an attempt to keep the department store brand afloat. With just a few months left at their storied location, Lord & Taylor will launch on Thursday a final “store closing” sale that will last through the holidays, according to the Post. And speaking of the holidays, they’ve also decided that instead of their normal six window displays between 38th and 39th Streets, they’ll only decorate two this holiday season.

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Manhattan, real estate trends

Photo via WeWork

With 5.3 million square feet of office space, WeWork is officially Manhattan’s largest private office tenant. Last month, we reported that the co-working giant needed just 74,000 more square feet to take the title from JPMorgan Chase & Co., and with their new, 258,344-square-foot location at 21 Penn Plaza, their 50th in the borough (they have 60 in NYC total), they’ve now surpassed them. The news comes via a blog post by WeWork exec Granit Gjonbalaj, who credits the company’s “expertise” and the team’s “holistic nature” that has allowed them to “identify, build, and deliver new locations better and more quickly than a typical developer.”

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Chelsea, Starchitecture

Via WeWork/WeGrow

WeWork opened its first elementary school in Chelsea last week, equipped with modular classrooms, tree houses and giant floor cushions, dezeen reported Wednesday. Bjarke Ingels was tapped last year to design the WeGrow school on West 18th Street, designated for children ages three to nine, with a focus on education through play and interaction. New photos from the co-working company reveal open-plan classrooms with multi-functional furniture and lots of natural light.

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