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WeWork won’t stop until it has 80 million square feet

Co-working giant WeWork will swallow up 30 million square feet of New York City office space in the next five years, according to its co-founder.

Speaking at a Metropolitan Business Network event earlier this month, Adam Neumann, the entrepreneur who started WeWork in 2010, said his company will grow to occupy 80 million square feet globally by 2020.

ADAM NEUMAN
ADAM NEUMAN

“We are in a consumption phase, like nothing that has ever been seen,” said Neumann.

WeWork, which has 29 locations worldwide, closed a $355 million funding round in venture capital in December and is now valued at $5 billion.

Last month, the company leased 180,000 s/f at Himmel + Merringoff and The Swig Company’s 1460 Broadway in Times Square. They signed a 19-year lease for all but the second and third floors of the building and plan to occupy the building later this year.

The firm has locations all across New York City — including Times Square, Bryant Park, the Financial District, Gramercy, Soho, and the Meatpacking District.

WeWork’s first offices in Brooklyn are scheduled to come online next year in DUMBO, where the company took 90,000 s/f at the former Watchtower complex at 81 Prospect Street.

The company has just hired Invesco’s Todd Bassen on board as co-head of real estate at the rapidly expanding company.

Bassen, who has headed up New York acquisitions for Invesco since 2010, will work alongside Mark Lapidus, WeWork’s current head of real estate.

According to reports, Bassen will be tying up loose ends at Invesco before making the move to WeWork.

WeWord offices at 222 Broadway. Photo via WeWork
WeWord offices at 222 Broadway. Photo via WeWork

At Invesco, Bassen oversaw a burst of buying. In the year 2013, the firm purchased rental building Mercedes House at 550 West 54th Street for $170 million, and bought a stake in DUMBO’s Jehovah’s Witnesses portfolio (now being developed by Kushner Properties) for $240 million.

Last November, Invesco paid $175 million for a stake in the Factory Building in Long Island City, and just this month sold its stake in the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue in Midtown to RXR Realty, in a deal that values the office building at $1.2 billion.
WeWork declined to comment further on the expansion plan.

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