The Real Deal Miami

WeWork inks lease for entire Security Building in downtown Miami

Shared office space provider opened its first SoFla location in Miami Beach this summer

October 07, 2015 09:45AM
By Katherine Kallergis

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WeWork's Miguel McKelvey and Adam Neumann and the Security Building in downtown Miami

From left: WeWork’s Miguel McKelvey and Adam Neumann, and the Security Building in downtown Miami (Credit: Wikipedia Commons user Ebyabe)

WeWork, the New York-based company that operates dozens of co-working spaces in four countries, has signed a lease for the entire Security Building in downtown Miami.

The shared office space company will lease the 96,575-square-foot building at 117 Northeast First Avenue, the property’s co-owner Andrew Joblon told TRD. The space will represent WeWork’s second site in South Florida. The Commercial Observer first reported the lease in August. 

“The building has incredible bones and is easily accessible from all of the major submarkets within Miami and Miami Beach,” he said. “In conjunction with the improvements on Flagler, this is another indicator and positive step in the right direction for downtown.”

WeWork signed a 15-year lease at the currently vacant, 16-story building with plans for a significant build-out. Construction will begin in about a month, Joblon said. No brokers were involved.

Joblon and his partners, Daniel Gohari, Rory Greenberg and Ricky Weisfisch, acquired the entire mixed-use building for about $25.5 million this summer. The property, also known as the Capital Lofts building, was built in 1926 and designated historic by the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

WeWork plans to open by the end of the first quarter of next year, Greenberg told TRD. The building’s owners had originally signed a lease with NeueHouse, another shared office space provider, but that fell through. WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann flew down and “fell in love” with the space, Greenberg said.

WeWork opened its first South Florida location in July at 350 Lincoln Road. There, the company is leasing four floors totaling 40,000 square feet.

Founded in 2010 by Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork runs shared office spaces in at least 20 cities in the United States, England, Israel and the Netherlands. Its “membership” includes 20,000 freelancers, start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. The company leases office space and then effectively sublets desks or rooms to “members” on a month-to-month basis.

WeWork announced in June that it had raised another $400 million from investors at a valuation of $10 billion, bringing its total funding to about $1 billion.

Most WeWork shared offices have a similar design, but the company offers some customers the chance to design custom-built offices in exchange for a longer-term commitment. The South Beach location offers standard amenities such as lounges, conference rooms, and phone booths. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

WeWork joins a number of South Florida shared office space companies, including BüroMADE at the Citadel, Quest Workspaces and Pipeline.