WeWork is gobbling up space in central London at an insane rate

Co-working company has doubled its footprint in the City of London over the last year

Adam Neumann and London
Adam Neumann and London

WeWork is now the largest corporate occupier in central London.

The $20 billion co-working startup has leased 2.6 million square feet of space since 2012, according to Cushman & Wakefield figures cited by the Financial Times. That’s more than the 1.3 million square feet leased during that time by Google, Amazon’s roughly 1 million square feet and the 900,000 square feet leased by Deutsche Bank.

WeWork is second only to the U.K. government in the amount of space it occupies.

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“Have they won the race for scale?” asked Elaine Rossall, head of UK offices research and insight at Cushman & Wakefield. “Yes, I don’t think anybody could keep up with their pace of growth.”

WeWork in 2016 ranked as the 11th-largest office tenant in Manhattan, according to data CoStar provided to The Real Deal.

In the City of London, the company’s footprint more than doubled in 2017, and those familiar with WeWork’s strategy say it’s looking to capitalize on banks’ uncertainty over Brexit by leasing them flexible office space.

In October, WeWork agreed to buy the Blackstone Group’s London office complex Devonshire Square for about $785 million.  [FT]Rich Bockmann