WeWork shutters 75K sf coworking office in Irvine

Troubled firm has vacated nearly half its office space in OC

WeWork's Interim CEO David Tolley with 18191 Von Karman Avenue in Irvine
WeWork's Interim CEO David Tolley with 18191 Von Karman Avenue in Irvine (Google Maps, LinkedIn, Getty)

The dominoes are falling across Orange County for embattled WeWork, the coworking giant that just closed a 75,000-square-foot office in Irvine.

As its executives bolt toward the exits, the New York-based company has closed its office in Lakeshore Towers at 18191 Von Karman Avenue, the Orange County Business Journal reported.

The darkened offices come after WeWork backed out of a deal in 2020 to lease an entire 116,300-square-foot building at Spectrum Terrace in Irvine.

The flexible workspace firm once had 10 offices in OC containing 600,000 square feet, according to Cushman & Wakefield. It now has six offices with 315,000 square feet.

The WeWork lease at Lakeshore Towers was to run through 2034. The owner of the 902,000-square-foot campus, now listed for nearly $200 million, wasn’t identified.

Tenants were given less than a month’s notice of the WeWork closure, unidentified sources told the Business Journal. They were told they could move to a 71,000-square-foot WeWork office at nearby 2211 Michelson Drive.

Other WeWork closures include a 39,400-square-foot office at 3200 Park Center Drive in Costa Mesa and a 53,500-square-foot office at 100 Bayview Circle in Newport Beach.

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The company faced mounting problems before the pandemic, including a scuttled IPO with regulatory disclosures of steep losses raising alarm bells that led to a major cash injection by its largest investor, Softbank.

The pandemic then slammed the coworking industry because of public safety concerns and a rush to work-from-home.

WeWork went public in 2021 via a SPAC deal, with shares trading at $10. Shares this week traded for under 20 cents after falling 87 percent this year.

In recent months, WeWork has been trying to avoid being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, conducting a large debt restructuring and engineering a reverse stock split.

The company burned through $700 million in cash last year, closing with $287 million; at the start of that year, WeWork had $924 million. The company lost $299 million during the first quarter, compared to losing nearly $500 million during the same period last year.

The coworking company has yet to make a dime, after raising billions from investors.Last week, WeWork Chief Financial Officer Andre Fernandez announced he would resign June 1. The company disclosed Fernandez’s exit a week after CEO Sandeep Mathrani announced he would call it quits.

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