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The Expansion of WeWork Office Spaces in the Seattle Area


Businesses are continually changing and evolving and it’s worth evaluating certain items surrounding operations, such as office space. For companies that don’t need to maintain a large warehouse space, or can do so remotely, it is worth considering a short term flexible leasing arrangement. There are new accounting rules soon to be effective related to leases (read more in our blog: Lease Accounting Standard Update is Getting Closer to Reality) which could make the use of a short term lease an attractive option.

Over the course of the last decade, communal or co-working spaces have seen exponential growth all over the world. These spaces can take many forms but depending on customer needs, WeWork offers cubicles or office spaces for anywhere from 1 to 250 employees. Some companies have even elected to host a headquarters through a co-working space. The co-working offices offer amenities such as shared spaces for meetings or employee leisure, kitchens, snacks, etc. They also provide individuals with opportunities to interact with other likeminded companies and people. Employees using these types of spaces stated that the biggest advantage of these spaces was the freedom and flexibility in new markets.

The biggest contributor to the growth of these spaces is the WeWork Co., recently rebranded to We Co. The company supplied office spaces to approximately 7,000 people during 2014. Membership has been steadily increasing and as of January 2019 was approximately 400,000. The company offers space in 425 locations in 100 cities across 27 countries. The company is providing affordable space options for employers ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. According to BizJournals, approximately 30% of the Global Fortune 500 were members of WeWork.

According to the Commercial Observer, WeWork is changing the office landscape in Seattle. They plan to open a 14,500-square-foot location at Hines’s Summit 2 at 10885 Northeast 4th Street in Bellevue, which is expected to open in winter of 2019.  In addition, WeWork has also just announced that it is expanding its ‘Headquarters by WeWork’ concept, aimed at targeting medium-sized businesses, to Los Angeles and Seattle.

In mid-2018, WeWork had approximately 900,000 square feet of space across 7 buildings in Seattle, with plans of expanding to 1.5 million square feet across 14 buildings in early 2019. The company has acquired and began leasing space equivalent to the size of the Columbia Tower within a five year period. With the success of WeWork and their command of the market, new businesses might look to enter the shared workspace environment. These new spaces could be the future of office spaces as we know it.

If your company has ambitions to extend their operational footprint, WeWork spaces might be worth your consideration. BP works with clients who have leased these types of spaces, and our professionals would be happy to have a conversation on the advantages and disadvantages of these arrangements. There is no one size fits all solution, especially with the upcoming leasing rules. Please reach out to a BP professional for additional information at 425.454.7990.

Reference: https://commercialobserver.com/2019/06/wework-expands-headquarters-model-to-la-and-seattle/