WeWork, the co-working giant most recently valued at around $20 billion, is looking to expand its presence in one of the world’s most expensive property markets, Hong Kong.
The company is considering renting Hotel LKF by Rhombus on Wyndham Street, a building close to the city’s business center, sources told Bloomberg. The building is in the city’s Lan Kwai Fong district and very close to pubs and clubs. The hotel closed a few weeks ago and is due to be turned into offices by the middle of next year, owner Peterson Group said last month. WeWork rented more than 100,000 square feet in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai and Causeway Bay areas last year.
WeWork did not comment on the story, and sources said the talks may not lead to a formal deal.
Office rents are soaring in Hong Kong, with the average annual prime office rent at $112 per square foot, compared to $86 in London’s city center and $82 in Midtown in New York City, Bloomberg reported, citing data from Collier’s International.
“Twelve months ago, when we talked to developers and asked them what kind of tenants they were targeting to fill up their new buildings, most would’ve mentioned large international banks. Fast forward to today, most will say they’re talking with co-working operators,” Denis Ma, Hong Kong research head at Jones Lang Lasalle, told the publication.
Following its latest funding round, WeWork is now valued at around $20 billion, which means it is worth more than Boston Properties and Vordnado Realty Trust. Earlier this month, the company shook up its C-suite and put chief cultural officer Jen Berrent in the role of COO.
[Bloomberg] — Miriam Hall