The Real Deal New York

The battle for Flatiron: The Office Group and WeWork are facing off at the iconic building

The 2 flexible-office companies are vying for the iconic 180K sf building
July 20, 2018 10:30AM

From left: WeWork’s Adam Neumann, the Flatiron Building at 175 5th Avenue, and The Office Group’s Olly Olsen (Credit: Getty, CityRealty, and Twitter)

The Flatiron Building, one of New York City’s oldest and most iconic skyscrapers, is available for leasing, and two of the world’s largest flexible-office companies are bidding to move in.

WeWork and London-based The Office Group will go head-to-head in their advance on the 180,000-square-foot building, which would serve as an enticing location for co-working spaces. The negotiations with building owner Sorgente Group were first reported by the Financial Times.

A move to the Flatiron Building will mark The Office Group’s first overseas location, and signal another rival for WeWork in New York’s crowded flexible office market. Blackstone bought a majority stake in The Office Group in June 2017, when the company was valued at $655 million. The company now has 39 locations that cover over 1.3 million square feet.

But it will face an uphill battle in trying to gain ground against WeWork. The flexible workspace giant had a Manhattan footprint of 4.1 million square feet in the first quarter, and from April to June it closed an additional 190,000 square feet in leases at 214 West 29th Street, 130 Fifth Avenue and 408 Broadway.

Last July, MacMillan Publishing announced it would be leaving the Flatiron Building to occupy 261,000 square feet at Silverstein Properties120 Broadway. The company is set to move out next year. [Financial Times] — David Jeans