The Real Deal New York

WeWork says it’s now Manhattan’s largest office tenant

The company says it reached the milestone with its 258k sf lease at 21 Penn Plaza
By Christian Bautista | September 18, 2018 09:50AM

Adam Neumann and an abstract aerial of Manhattan (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

WeWork is now the largest office tenant in Manhattan.

The co-working firm said it now has a portfolio totaling 5.3 million square feet, putting it ahead of JPMorgan Chase, according to a blog post from company executive Granit Gjonbalaj. WeWork now has 60 locations in New York City. Out of that total, 50 are in Manhattan. The first WeWork location opened at 154 Grand Street in 2010.

A Cushman & Wakefield report from last August estimated that the company was 74,000 square feet away from reaching the milestone. The firm says it got over the hump with its massive 258,344-square foot lease at TH Real Estate’s 21 Penn Plaza.

There are now 50,000 WeWork members in New York City, Gjonbalaj said. That figure represents 17 percent of the 300,000 total WeWork members globally.

This is not the first time that the company has reached such a milestone. Earlier this year, WeWork became the largest office tenant in London. The SoftBank-backed firm clinched that distinction just four years after opening its first branch in the city.

WeWork’s main competitor may not be out of contention just yet. JPMorgan’s new headquarters at 270 Park Avenue is expected to stand 70 stories tall and span 2.5 million square feet. The bank appears to be maneuvering to increase the size of its new home. Last June, it acquired 50,000 square feet of air rights from St. Bartholomew’s Church for $20.7 million. The deal included an option to buy an additional 505,000 square feet of air rights for $157.8 million.

WeWork’s footprint is extensive enough that is has affected the financial standing of the buildings it occupy. According to Cushman, investors apply a discount when pricing buildings with large WeWork occupancies.

The company has made a recent push to attract mid-sized tenants. Its Manhattan footprint now amounts to 3 percent of the total office space in the borough. This is estimated to grow to 10 percent over the next decade.

Meanwhile, WeWork’s competitors in the co-working space Jay Suites, Knotel and Convene just to name a few — have been working to expand their own footprints in Manhattan.

SoftBank recently invested another $1 billion in WeWork in the form of a convertible note, just a year after giving the co-working firm and its affiliates a hefty $4.4 billion funding. In June, it was reported that WeWork was looking to raise money at up to a $35 billion valuation.

Meanwhile, WeWork and private equity firm Rhone Group are still on the hunt for an equity partner for the purchase of the Lord & Taylor building. The companies announced they would purchase the site at 424 Fifth Avenue for $850 million nearly a year ago.