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By Christopher Doman ’15
On Friday, March 6th, WeWork hosted members of the Real Estate Association and Paul Milstein Center staff for a tour of its workspaces at Bryant Park and a discussion about the WeWork brand, its expansion plans, and the future of commercial office space. WeWork’s Vice President of Finance, John Lewis ’10, led the tour, showing the group various floor layouts and how members (individual tenants) can interact with each other at various communal kitchens and lounge spaces. WeWork’s Bryant Park location is unique in that its floorplates are significantly smaller than the 20,000 square-foot floors it seeks when leasing space, giving Bryant Park a great amount of character that keeps it in very high demand by WeWork members.
WeWork is expanding rapidly across major markets in the U.S. and Europe, and has found it beneficial to partner with major property owners such as Brookfield Office Properties when entering new markets. These partnerships allow WeWork to expand quickly and with minimal capital input, essential for a growing brand. Mr. Lewis discussed how growing rapidly and leasing new spaces near existing WeWork locations helps the company manage members’ ever-evolving needs. Given that there is a growing waitlist to become a member at most WeWork locations, WeWork can better serve existing members experiencing rapid growth by offering locations clustered together, as opposed to spread throughout the city. In doing so, members are able to remain in their desired section of the city, while finding a new WeWork location that can support their growing teams. WeWork prides itself on offering flexible one-month leases to its members, and they are making firms of all sizes reconsider how they lease office space.
Christopher Doman ’15 is the VP of Site Tours for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. He is a second-year student focusing on real estate development and investing, and will be joining Tishman Speyer at its NYC headquarters post-graduation.