- WeWork has nearly 2 million square feet of available space in New York City, its largest market.
- That amounts to over 20% of its portfolio, a figure that far exceeds the overall availability of space in Manhattan.
- The flexible-workspace giant is the city's largest office tenant by a wide margin.
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WeWork is awash in vacancy in New York City, its biggest market, according to marketing materials seen by Business Insider.
The flexible-workspace giant, which has almost 9 million square feet of office space in the city and is the city's largest office tenant by a wide margin, has nearly 1.9 million square feet of available space, over 20% of its portfolio.
That availability rate, which includes spaces that are presently empty or that will be in the coming months, far exceeds the overall market. In Manhattan, the availability rate for office space was 12.1% in June, according to data from CBRE.
WeWork listed the availabilities in marketing materials that were emailed in recent days to the city's commercial leasing industry, which the flexible-workspace firm is hoping will help it find takers for the glut of space.
A WeWork spokeswoman declined to comment.
The openings are predominantly peppered throughout the company's voluminous Manhattan portfolio, but also include Dock 72, a newly built office property on the Brooklyn waterfront, where WeWork is advertising over 100,000 square feet of vacancy, and Gotham Center, a Long Island City building where the firm has a more modest opening of almost 14,000 square feet.
Some of the largest listings include:
- Nearly 160,000 square feet at 115 West 18th Street, WeWork's global headquarters, available in January 2021.
- Over 210,000 square feet at 620 Avenue of the Americas available in January 2021.
- Almost 70,000 square feet at 88 University Place, just south of Union Square, which is available in November.
Filling the empty offices could be difficult. Leasing has plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, data shows. About half a million square feet, for instance, was leased in Manhattan in June, according to CBRE, just 20% of the activity seen during the same month a year ago.
"Anyone with a large amount of commercial office space in any market in the US right now is certainly facing a challenging task in filling it," said Ted Skirbunt, the national director for Workthere, a division of the real-estate services firm and brokerage Savills that focuses on the flexible workspace sector.
"I think everyone was hoping that we would have a quick, linear type of bounce back from the pandemic. It's pretty clear at this point that the reality in the near term, the next 6 to 12 months, is we're in for a much more uncertain type of recovery."
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The openings in WeWork's portfolio are a function both of the pandemic and the company's rapid expansion in recent years, observers say, in which it added millions of square feet that left it with a large overhang of vacancy it has had difficult filling as demand has slowed.
The availability also may be evidence that WeWork clients have dropped the company amid the pandemic, which has prompted many office tenants in the city to allow their employees work remotely long term as concerns linger about a resurgence of the virus.
"If people are already working from home, why would you spend the money on a WeWork location right now," said Dennis Russo, a real-estate attorney with the firm Baker Hostetler. "Why spend it? It makes no sense."
Included in the available spaces that WeWork is marketing is nearly 70,000 square feet at 88 University Place, a WeWork location where IBM recently decided to exit.
WeWork Chairman Marcelo Claure told the Financial Times earlier this month that the company was on track to be cash-flow positive in 2021, thanks to aggressive cost cutting as well as a boost in demand from companies seeking flexible office arrangements due to the pandemic.
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