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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Sam Zell on WeWork: “I wouldn’t let those guys near my business with a 10-foot pole”

Equity Residential chief has unsuccessfully invested in office sharing
May 10, 2017 10:00AM

Sam Zell on CNBC

Sam Zell isn’t sold on WeWork’s business model — especially when it comes to the unicorn company consulting on office management for corporations outside of its own shared spaces.

“I wouldn’t let those guys near my business with a 10-foot pole,” he quipped during an appearance on CNBC earlier this week. “The last thing I want to do is introduce somebody else’s culture and have them influence the way my company is run.”

WeWork’s move into the corporate services sector was reportedly inspired by the fact that several companies had booked entire floors in its existing locations. WeWork will also consult on design and construction for those corporate clients, a spokesperson said in April.

The chairman of Equity Group Investments and of apartment mega-landlord Equity Residential said he’d once invested unsuccessfully in a shared work space provider, though he didn’t specify which company.

“We have yet to find out what happens to WeWork when the office market softens, which is probably not too long from now,” he said. [CNBC] — Katherine Clarke