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On Friday, February 24th 2017 the Real Estate Association (REA) and members of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate toured WeWork’s headquarters in Chelsea, Manhattan. The group started the day with Erica Cafritz, Associate in the Real Estate Division, and Kevin Selig, Director of Real Estate East. Erica and Kevin toured the group through the offices displaying WeWork’s amenities, networking, and co-working spaces. We learned about the community you join when you become a WeWork member and saw the aesthetics that the architecture team keeps consistent throughout the many WeWork locations all over the world.
We continued our day with Derek Feinman, Enterprise Sales. The Enterprise model is WeWork’s solution to accommodate teams of any size. Corporations worldwide are immersing themselves in the WeWork community by taking many desks together or even taking full sections or floors of WeWork facilities. WeWork has already collaborated with companies such as Spotify, Salesforce, Dell, KPMG, Bank of America, and many more. Derek’s discussion showed how the future of WeWork is not just limited to small, startup-like companies.
Following our conversation with Derek, we met with Bridgette Summers, Director of Real Estate WeLive, who explained the WeLive vision and showed us the progress that her team has already made on the initiative. She showed us the various mockups of co-living spaces as well as images of the functioning facility on Wall Street.
To fully understand WeWork’s mission we next met with Roee Adler, Head of Digital. We learned about WeWork’s origins and the stories of founders Miguel McKelvey, Adam Neumann, and Rebekah Neuman. He emphasized their upbringing, which was founded on community. WeWork strives to mimic this communal mentality and create an entrepreneurial and authentic experience for its members. Roee’s presentation displayed how significant of an effect WeWork has already had on the traditional office market.
On behalf of Columbia Business School’s Real Estate Association, we would like to thank WeWork for allowing us to explore their exciting Chelsea Headquarters and enabling us to learn more about the company’s vision for expansion and the future of the office market.
Brian Hwang ’17 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 finance and development. Brian previously worked for CBRE in the Valuation & Advisory Group and will be joining M&T Bank in the NYC Real Estate Debt Group after graduation.
Ricki Shenfeld ’18 is the AVP of Site Tours for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. She is a first year focusing on real estate and entrepreneurship. Prior to enrolling at Columbia, Ricki worked in Acquisitions and Capital Markets at DDG, a luxury real estate developer based in Manhattan with offices in San Francisco and Palm Beach. Ricki will be joining Silverstein Properties over the Summer.